Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
NIMC Seals Two Clinics after Surprise Inspections in Vaishali & Patna Distts in Bihar for PC & PNDT Act Violations
The National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) team, constituted under the Preconception & Prenatal Diagnostic Tests (Prevention of sex selection) Act, 1994, undertook surprise inspections of clinics/ facilities offering ultrasound diagnostic services in Vaishali & Patna districts of Bihar between 10th & 11th Feb. 2012. The inspection team comprised of members from Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and civil society. Appropriate Authorities from the State and the respective districts accompanied the team during the field visit. The team visited a total of seven facilities in Vaishali & Patna districts and undertook verification of equipment and examination of records valid under the PC & PNDT Act. The team sealed 2 clinics along with ultrasound machines for violations under the PC & PNDT Act, 1994 as per details mentioned below:
· Sharda Hospital & Misha Hospital: Both hospitals were found advertising ultrasound services, inspite of not being registered under the PC&PNDT Act. However, the inspection team could not find any ultrasound machine in the hospitals. The NIMC team recommended further investigation including collection of evidence related to use of portable ultrasound machines on demand and legal action to be initiated against the hospitals, as appropriate.
· New -Maa Ultrasound Clinic and Computer Ultrasound: The performing doctors were not available at the time of inspection and it was also not clear whether ultrasound procedures were being performed by qualified doctors. Records mandated under the PC & PNDT Act were not maintained by the clinic. District Appropriate Authority was requested to ensure swift legal action against the clinic for non-maintenance of records and lack of clarity with regard to qualification of service providers as mandated under the Act.
· Vimal Ultrasound Clinic : No records including Form F, OPD register, cash receipts etc. were found maintained by the clinic. NIMC Team recommended appropriate legal action against the clinic for non-maintenance of records, a violation under the PNDT Act.
· Mangalum Ultrasound: The unregistered clinic was sealed and further action was recommended as per the provisions of Rule 11(2) of the PNDT Rules, 1996. The clinic along with ultrasound machine including ultrasound probe was sealed and relevant documents were seized by the Appropriate Authority.
· Maurya X- Ray and Ultrasound Pvt. Ltd.: The clinic along with three ultrasound machines was sealed by the designated Appropriate Authority. NIMC observed that there was gross under reporting of ultrasound procedures by the clinic. While an average of 12-15 maternal ultrasound scans were reported to be performed daily, only 2-3 procedures were being documented. OPD register was not maintained and Form Fs were found incomplete including 68 form Fs without doctors’ signature, which were seized as evidence.
· Ford Hospital: NIMC observed that an unauthorized doctor was performing ultrasound scans in the hospital and Form Fs were also not being maintained. The hospital has also not submitted mandated monthly reports for the last one and a half years. The ultrasound clinic of the hospital and the machine was not seized to avoid inconvenience to patients requiring cardiology related scans. However, two probes of the ultrasound machine used for pregnancy scans were seized by the Appropriate Authority.
The Central Supervisory Board under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Health & FW, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in its meeting held on 4th June, 2011 had decided to empower the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) to ensure effective action against clinics/facilities found prima facie guilty of violating the provisions of the Act.