Who is authorised to do UltraSonography ?

A must know judgment for Medicos.

Hon’ble Delhi High Court was dealing with this question while deciding the different writ petitions filed by Indian Radiological Association, Indian Medical Association and Sonological Society of India. In its 83 pages judgment dated 16/02/2016, the Division Bench has granted much awaited relief to Medicos.

Who is authorised to do UltraSonography

Facts :

1) The petitioners challenged the constitutional validity of Section 2(p) of the PCPNDT Act which defines the term Sonologists and Imaging Specialist.

2) It also challenged the constitutional validity of Rule 3(3)(1)(b) of the PCPNDT Rules to the extent it permits sonologists, imaging specialists or registered medical practitioner having six months training or one year experience in sonography or image scanning to set up ultrasound clinics or imaging centres,

3)The Rule 6 of PCPNDT Act which prescribes for Six Months.Training was also challenged as it not only requires six months training to register as a sonologist but even requires existing sonologist to qualify a competency based assessment to renew the registration & incase of failure again 6 months training to existing Sonologists.
4) It was also contended that MBBS doctors are also sonologist but the Authorities under the said Act do not register the MBBS doctors as sonologist compelling them to take additional six months training, which is bad in law.

Stand of UOI in Short :

UOI denied all the allegations of ultraviours provisions and said provisions are necessary in Public interest. It also supported the 6 months Training as it would ensure better quality among all members of profession. That the Rule 6(2) of the Six Months Training Rules exempts those registered medical practitioners who are having experience of one year or more in ultrasonography and who had already undergone six months training, provided they pass the prescribed competency based assessment.

Who is authorised to do UltraSonography

Court Held in Short :

(i). that Section 2(p) of the PNDT Act defining a Sonologist or Imaging Specialist, is bad to the extent it includes persons possessing a postgraduate qualification in ultrasonography or
imaging techniques for want of such qualification being recognised by MCI and the PNDT Act does not empower the statutory bodies constituted thereunder or the Central Government to devise and coin new qualification;

(ii) We hold that all places including vehicles where ultrasound machine or imaging machine or scanner or other equipment capable of determining sex of the foetus or has the potential of
detection of sex during pregnancy or selection of sex before conception, require registration under the Act;

(iii) However, if the person seeking registration
(a) makes a declaration in the form to be prescribed by the Central Supervisory Board to the effect that the said machine or equipment is not intended for conducting pre-natal diagnostic
(b) gives an undertaking to not use or allow the use of the same for pre-natal diagnostic procedures; and,
(c) has a “silent observer” or any other equipment installed on the ultrasound machines, as may be prescribed by the Central Supervisory Board, capable of storing images of each sonography tests done therewith, such person would be exempt from complying with the provisions of the Act and the Rules with respect to Genetic Clinics, Genetic Laboratory or Genetic Counselling Centre;
(iv) If however for any technical reasons, the Central Supervisory Board is of the view that such “silent observer” cannot be installed or would not serve the purpose, then the Central Supervisory Board would prescribe other conditions which such registrant would require to fulfil, to remain exempt as aforesaid;

(v) however such registrants would otherwise remain bound by the prohibitory and penal provisions of the Act and would further remain liable to give inspection of the “silent observer” or other such equipment and their places, from the time to time and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Supervisory Board; and,

(vi) Rule 3(3)(1)(b) of the PNDT Rules (as it stands after the amendment with effect from 9th January, 2014) is ultra vires the PNDT Act to the extent it requires a person desirous of setting up a Genetic Clinic / Ultrasound Clinic / Imaging Centre to undergo six months training imparted in the manner prescribed in the Six Months Training Rules.

This judgment is a sigh of relief for all the Medicos and you may always note that if you want to reslove your grivances leaglly, Court is the only solution and the not the venting feelings on social media.

Who is authorised to do UltraSonography

An article by Adv. Rohit Erande, Pune.