Let non-doctors sign lab reports: Medical Council of India to Centre

The non-doctors, however, cannot issue medical opinion or interpretation of reports

Published: 08th February 2020 06:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2020 01:51 PM   |  A+A-

medicine, medical field, doctors

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Nearly three years after the Supreme Court passed an order that all laboratories and diagnostic reports can only be signed by a qualified pathologist, the medical profession regulator has advised the Union Health Ministry to allow even non-doctors, with relevant degrees, to issue reports but without offering any medical opinion or interpretation.

The Medical Council of India of Governors, that governs medical education and profession — in a letter sent to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry — has said that those with a masters degree in medical microbiology and medical biochemistry and PhD in relevant subjects can sign lab reports without offering any opinion.

Officials in the MCI-Bog told this newspaper that the norm was followed earlier too but the guidelines in the Clinical Establishment Act, 2010-rules for which were made two years later said that the reports should be signed only by qualified doctors.

This was further reinforced in a judgement by the Supreme Court in 2017 that specifically said that these reports can be countersigned by those having an MD degree in pathology.  

The latest MCI letter to the government has come in the view of a clarification sought by the Delhi High Court where an association of laboratory technicians had approached.  

“We have given our view to the government as it’s not practical to ask only pathologists to sign the lab reports given their acute shortage in the country,” said a senior MCI-BOG official.  

There are about 6,000 doctors in the country with a degree of MD in pathology while the number of labs is estimated at over 3.2 lakhs. Total technicians working in the labs, on the other hand, are estimated at nearly 38,000.  

Not everybody in the sector, however, is happy with the MCI-BOG’s suggestions.

“This recommendation is ambiguous as every lab report does contain interpretation to a certain extent and will encourage quackery in the sector,” said Dr Navin Dang, who runs a leading diagnostic laboratory in the capital.

“The minimum qualification for the professionals signing the reports should at least be MBBS if not MD.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp