Plea against rules permitting non-medical persons to sign lab reports: HC seeks Centre stand

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response of the Centre and National Medical Commission on a plea challenging the rules which permit unregistered non-medical persons to sign medical diagnostic reports.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan issued notice to the Health Ministry and the commission seeking their stand on the petition by a doctor who has claimed that under the Clinical Establishments (Central Government) Amendment Rules, 2020 persons with MSc or PhD degrees have been allowed to sign medical diagnostic reports.

Dr Rohit Jain, a practicing pathologist, has contended that every report requires application of mind by a qualified pathologist in the first instance. 'Medical reports not countersigned by a qualified pathologist may lead to misdiagnosis or late-diagnosis putting lives of public at large at serious risk. Such arbitrary distinctions will lead to quackery, corruption and may put the public at the risk of misdiagnosis or late-diagnosis which can be fatal,' the petition, filed through advocate Mrinmoi Chatterjee, has said.

Jain has contended that amended rules are 'illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional and ultra vires of the parent act itself' and has sought a declaration to that effect from the court.

He has also sought an order from the court directing that lab reports can be countersigned only by a registered medical practitioner with a post-graduate qualification in Pathology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Laboratory Medicine. PTI HMP RKS RKS