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Insufficient Pathologists in Maharashtra

There are more than 10,000 diagnostic laboratories but only 2,200 certified pathologists. A report released by Directorate of Medical Research and Education (DMER) states that most pathological lab in Maharashtra are running without a doctor. Diagnostic test reports have to be supervised by a registered pathologist. Experts have said that technicians can misdiagnose reports, putting the lives of patients at risk.

“We have estimated that the industry of illegal laboratories is worth Rs500cr. Even in Mumbai, almost 1/3 of the labs are illegal and no action by police or government officials have been taken till date,” said Dr Sandeep Yadav, president of MAPPM.

“The technicians with Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) or equivalent degrees, recognised by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) can be allowed to do the tests, however; the clinical analysis has to be done by registered pathologists,” read the report, accessed by MAPPM under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists (MAPPM), the largest body of certified pathologists in the state has alleged that state officials are guarding illegal pathological labs by allowing technicians to sign test reports for blood, urine, tissue, body fluids and other histopathology findings.

In a GR on June 24, 2016 officials mentioned that examining samples of body fluids, urine, blood or tissue and signing medical reports is a medical practice and should be done only by a registered medical professional.

 “There are 2271 pathologists registered with MMC and we have a genuine crisis of manpower in rural areas of the state. Technician’s work area, even at this moment, is to test samples with the help of existing machinery and handover the mechanically printed report. They are not involved in giving out opinions based on the same,” said Dr Shingare.


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