Agra: Radiologists across India will go on strike from September 1 to protest against their “victimisation” under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.
Radiology centres, which provide ultra sound, X-ray, MRI, CT scan and such other tests, all over India will join the agitation and remain closed from September 1 for an indefinite period, Bhupendra Ahuja, President-elect of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA), told reporters here.
He said law enforcement agencies have been using the PCPNDT Act to threaten radiologists with arrests even for minor clerical errors.
“Before examining a pregnant woman a 26-point questionnaire has to be filled up. This is not only time consuming but a slight error can result in harassment and sealing of a diagnostic centre,” Ahuja said.
A statement issued by IRIA said: “Under the PCPNDT Act, non-uniform implementation has resulted in sealing of many ultrasound machines depriving radiologists of their livelihood and having to face criminal proceedings in court on minor clerical mistakes.”
Arvind Gupta, a doctor, said people belonging to his profession are being targeted for female foeticide which is clearly a much wider social problem.
“The abuse of law has resulted in a situation where the number of doctors specialising in these branches (radiology) is going down,” he said.
The IRIA has demanded that criminal cases should not be registered against doctors for lapses in filling forms and other minor errors relating to procedural paper work. The rules should be uniform throughout India.
Presently if the law enforcement agencies find anything objectionable, the machines are sealed for three years. Since the investment on these machines is very large, sealing can prove devastating for a diagnostic centre.
The strike is being supported by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI).