Nod for ban on portable ultrasound machines
The Central Supervisory Board, set up under the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, on Saturday approved the proposal to ban the portable ultrasound sonography machines to prevent their misuse for sex determination, particularly in the rural areas where the sex ratio has dipped shockingly.
At a meeting of the Board held in Mumbai it was also decided that radiologists would now be allowed to register only at two places — within a notified distance. At present, there is no ban on the number of places a radiologist could register at. This helped in procuring ultrasound machines as every machine is registered against a radiologist. All qualified doctors would have to undergo a six-month certification course of the Medical Council of India before they used an ultrasound machine. These courses would be run by the institutes accredited and recognised by the State governments. However, this course would be mandatory for qualified radiologists
An official notification to implement these decisions would be issued by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry soon.
The portable ultrasound machines would be banned totally except in hospitals and institutions where they would be used for diagnostic purposes on critically ill patients and allowed to be carried as part of mobile health care units.
Mobile ultrasound machines — some small enough to be carried on bicycles — were being used in the rural areas for sex determination. There are about 44,000 registered ultrasound machines in the country at present but there is no record of portable ultrasound machines
The Board also decided to allow one radiologist to register at two places only. At present, there is no ban on the number of places a radiologist could register at. This helped in procuring ultrasound machines as every machine is registered against a radiologist.
Importantly, the Board has decided that qualified doctors would be allowed to operate ultrasound machines only after a six-month certification course of the Medical Council of India of India.
Fearing a shortage of radiologists if these measures were implemented, the Radiologists and Imaging Association have also decided to move the Supreme Court against these decisions.