Mumbai: Maharashtra government on Friday got a boost in its campaign against female foeticide with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) expressing solidarity to assist the efforts to weed out the black sheep in the medical fraternity.
Representatives of IMA, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) and Radiologists Association met Health Minister Suresh Shetty to discuss the steps to be taken to curb the menace, which has come to light prominently in Beed district.
The medical representatives expressed support to the initiatives being taken by the government and said that they would expedite disciplinary action against medical professionals found guilty of illegal sex determination.
Addressing a press conference, Shetty said the need to change the strategy against violations of the PCPNDT and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) act was discussed at the meeting.
"It was decided to have a dedicated official stationed at Pune who will co-ordinate with legal and health departments regarding violations of PCPNDT and MTP acts. Similarly, joint action by police and health departments will be taken against unauthorised MTP centres," he added.
Accordingly, in the last two days, 115 sonography centres have been raided and 22 sealed, while 403 unauthorised MTP centres have been raided and six have been closed down.
It was also decided that IMA will publish the names of doctors convicted for violations of PCPNDT and MTP acts in newspapers. Similarly, MMC will expedite action of cancelling the registration and licenses of convicted doctors.
Shetty said radiologists also told him that the action
of the state government to seal sonography centres indulging in the practice of sex determination was right.
He added that the government had already requested the Centre to ban standalone sonography centres.
According to Shiv Kumar Utture of MMC, out of the 41 doctors whose names had been sent to the MMC for cancelling registration, the council had sent show-cause notices to 18 while registration of five doctors was suspended.
Out of these five, registration of two doctors was revoked after they were acquitted by the court.
Shetty said a total 342 cases have been filed for the violation of PCPNDT and MTP acts, out of which 42 have been convicted. As of now, 248 cases are pending in various courts.
Earlier, Shetty held discussions with home Minister R R Patil, Women and Child welfare Minister Varsha Gaikwad, police officials and senior bureaucrats on the issue.
It was decided to hold workshops for police officials at district level to create awareness about the provisions of the PCPNDT and MTP acts and how to file FIRs in illegal sex determination cases.
All police stations will be told to apply provisions of IPC and MTP for illegal abortion cases.