Bangalore: With infertility being a major medical problem in the country, there was an urgent need to regulate the mushrooming infertility clinics, Dr Kamini Rao, Member of the drafting committee of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, said today.
An estimated that 30 percent of the couples in India are infertile, but 85 percent of such cases can be treated with high level of medical expertise and technologies, she told reporters here. "Unfortunately one comes across many infertility centres which operate as baby manufacturing centres exploiting recipients in the absence of a regulatory mechanism in place to ensure ethical and good medical practices", she said.
Hence the bill which would regulate infertility clinics indulging in unethical practices was the need of the hour, Kamini, a pioneer in the Assisted Reproductive Technology
(ART) in the country, said.
"It is necessary that the ART (Regulation) Bill 2010 is placed before the Parliament as soon as possible. This will not only bring in transparency in the infertility clinics, but also reduce the cost at least by 30 percent and ensure the fundamental right of procreation," she said.
Noting that today anyone can open infertility or ART clinic without necessary infrastructure or expert medical personnel, she said the draft bill, cleared by the law department, calls for a national framework for the accreditations, regulation and supervision of ART clinics.
"Our constitution should provide for a National Advisory Board and the State Boards to monitor ART clinics to ensure good medical practices by them", Kamini said.
Kamini, who is the Medical Director of Bangalore Assisted Conception Centre (BACC), said there are 700-1000 such infertility centres across the country "which are increasing by the day". In Bangalore itself there are 25 such centres, of which "20 percent are illegal".
People from countries like Italy and some states of the US which do not allow surrogacy come to India. "Not only is it permitted here, it also works out economical for them".
She said the draft bill was an amalgamation of features incorporated in the laws in countries like UK and Australia.