Most pathology labs run by technicians, docs only sign reports
PATIENTS IN JEOPARDY NMMC has no record of the number of pathology labs in the city or whether they are run according to norms
The city is strewn with pathology laboratories that are doing brisk business. However, there is little check on their functioning. In a shocking revelation, several pathology labs are reportedly dependent only on the technicians, with doctors merely signing the reports and being paid a percentage for this.
What makes it even more worrisome is that the health department of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has little information on the number of pathology labs in the city or whether they are run according to norms.
Nizam Shaikh, a s ocial worker who has been pursuing this issue, said, “Questions are being raised on the functioning of several labs, where numerous medical tests are conducted. There are allegations of not all tests that are recommended being actually required. They often seem to be a part of the ‘cut’ culture.”
He added, “The patients blindly trust their doctors, which sometimes leads to them being fleeced.”
According to Prasad Kulkarni, a member of Maharashtra Association of Practicising Pathologist and Microbiologist, “Inquiries reveal that several pathology labs are run by technicians when it is mandatory for the reports to be signed by an MBBS, MD or a qualified doctor who is expected to verify the samples.”
He added, “What actually happens is that the technician does all the testing and just one doctor signs the reports of several labs and takes his commission. Kopar Khairane seems to have the largest number of labs in the city.”
Dr Pr a k a s h D i ve from Kalamboli, also a member of the association, has raised his voice. “I had sought information under the RTI from the NMMC on the way these pathology labs function. However, I received a reply from the health department stating that the civic body does not have any record of it,” he said.
“The pathology labs are an aspect of the healthcare system as it is on the basis of their reports that doctors prescribe medicines and decide on treatments,” he said.
Dive said the government needs to enforce the strictures that are in place to ensure people’s health is not jeopardised. “We have learnt that the govern-
IT IS MANDATORY FOR THE REPORTS TO BE SIGNED BY AN MBBS, MD OR A QUALIFIED DOCTOR WHO IS EXPECTED TO VERIFY THE SAMPLES.
ment has now issued instructions to stop giving the shop and establishment certificate to the labs. While the norms are strict, the government needs to ensured they are followed,” he added.