The central government has hiked the registration rates for ultrasound centres from Rs 3,000 to Rs 25,000 and from Rs 4,000 to Rs 35,000. The Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) took umbrage to the hike and termed it arbitrary.
National president of Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) Dr Harsh Mahajan said, “Such an exorbitant increase in charges will either encourage non-registration of medical centres or lead to an increase in ultrasound charges since clinics will be forced to recover these costs from patients. Higher charges will again hurt poor patients, leading to lower number of tests as well as higher death and disease rates.”
The new rules also requires clinics to notify the government about the purchase of a new ultrasound machine or if they have a new ultra-sonologist joining their ranks. Mahajan said, “The new norm is illogical because no centre will know one month in advance about an ultra-sonologist leaving; thereafter, it could take anywhere from three months to several years for the change to be incorporated in the certificate. During this period, the new machine or new ultra-sonologist will be rendered useless.”
Ever since the first episode of Satyamev Jayate highlighted the female foeticide situation in the country, the centre and state governments have come up with a new spate of laws to tackle the issue. “Doctors at the IRIA are as concerned about female foeticide as the rest of the country. The government needs to seriously engage with radiologists and seek their suggestions in overcoming the scourge of female foeticide. Ill-thought, unfair laws that target law-abiding radiologists will not stop this practice but instead hurt the wellbeing of poor patients. The IRIA is willing to meet the government and discuss ways to identify and punish the real culprits behind female foeticide,” Dr Mahajan said.