Bengaluru Doctors Protest Against Harassment of Sonologists and Radiologists
· 350 doctors from Bengaluru participate in a march from freedom park to commissioner’s office to support national strike called by IRIA
· Protesters request uniform implementation and revisions in the PC & PNDT Act
Bengaluru: Doctors and members of the medical fraternity of Bangalore took to the streets in a protest to oppose the harassment and injustice that are faced by sonologists and Radiologists under the the PC & PNDT Act (Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection Act, 1994). This protest is in support of the nationwide strike from Sept 1 that has been called for by the IRIA (Indian Radiological and Imaging Association). The protest was spearheaded under the leadership of Medical Ultrasound society of Karnataka (MUSK), Which is a society with Ultrasonologist’s, Radiologist’s and Obstetricians practicing ultrasound.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Chitra Ganesh, Secretary of MUSK said “We are not against PC & PNDT act, but only against the diverse ways in which it is implemented in different parts of the country. Our objective is to draw the attention of the government & public on how sonologist’s are harassed in the name of PC & PNDT law, the essence of which is to protect the girl child. Doctors doing obstetric scans are the ones who care for the unborn. In Karnataka, we have the support of the government and we work hand in hand to tackle any such challenges, However, there are states where the provisions under this ac are misused”.
Supporting the ongoing protests, Dr Harish Rao, Secretary of ISOCS said “A minor clerical error under the PC & PNDT Act could result in machines being sealed, registration cancelled, cases filed in court against the radiologist and imprisonment. Radiologists are required to fill up Form F for every patient. This is an 8-page long document and even if a small error while filling, The radiologists can be prosecuted and held behind bars for three years. Their machines are sealed till the case gets put up in court”.
“Though there are a huge number of challenges for radiologists across the country, The Karnataka govt has been very forefront and co-operative in the implementing PC & PNDT law in the letter and spirit. The Karnataka Government is very cooperative and work with us together in understanding the issue and accordingly assist in solving any problems” said Dr Manoj Raheja, president of the ISOCS.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Priti Venkatesh the president of MUSK said “MUSK has always been in the forefront in the protection of girl child and against selective sex determination. We are ready to join hands with the state Govt in the smooth implementation of the ACT, provided they don’t harass us on minor issues like signatures in forms, wearing of apron, name badge etc which are in no way linked in bringing a change in sex ratio”.
Commenting on the ongoing protest, Dr B S Ramamurthy, The chief patron of MUSK said “We urge that Clerical errors in Form F – such as not wearing the apron, non-display of notice board, not keeping handbook on PC & PNDT Act should not be equated with Sex Determination and Criminal offense. We also request the authorities to have a standardized implementation of the act nationally where the punishment for any offence is graded in line with the gravity of the offence”.
MUSK joined hands with IRIA, ISOCS (Indian society of clinical sonologists), BSOG (Bangalore Society of Obstetrics & Gynaecology) to take out a march as a mark of protest from freedom park to the commissioner’s office.