Describing female foeticide as a “disgrace” to society, President Pratibha Patil has called upon the medical fraternity to ensure that diagnostic tests are not misused for pre-natal gender determination.
“We have laws and legal provisions that specially prohibit medical practitioners from disclosing the gender of the foetus. It is not only illegal, but it is socially immoral and detrimental to society. It is very important that all medical facilities, doctors and radiologists adhere to this so as to prevent female foeticide,” Ms. Patil said inaugurating the 64th National Conference of the Indian Radiologist and Imaging Association here on Friday.
End bias against girl child
“A skewed population composition, due to a bias against the girl child, can have many adverse social consequences. We have a social responsibility to bring about an end to prejudices and discrimination against the girl child. We must encourage all such steps that will contribute to the welfare of the girl child — proper nutrition, education, opportunity to work and to be financially independent. A girl child is an asset to the nation.”
‘Health for all' challenge
Pointing out that at the macro level ‘health for all' was a major challenge before the nation, Ms. Patil said though some successes like an increase in life expectancy and eradication of some endemic diseases had been achieved, it was still work in progress.
“We are yet to reach our goal of health for all. Access to and affordability of healthcare, especially for the underprivileged and marginalised sections, in particular women and children, remain under-accomplished tasks.”
Calling upon doctors and medical practitioners to follow the highest standards of medical ethics so as to maintain the reputation of the profession, Ms. Patil said the expertise and professional skills of Indian doctors were acknowledged across the world.
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi asked doctors to use technology judiciously as overutilisation of medical imaging examinations could be detrimental to patients, exposing them to unnecessary radiation.
“Recent reports have drawn attention to the ionising radiation associated with some imaging procedures. These cases must be weighed against the benefit of the diagnostic information or treatment result one specific procedure may provide.”