MUMBAI: Gynaecologists will no longer have to depend on radiologists for conducting ultrasound clinical imaging. According to the latest circular from the Centre, medical practitioners with post graduation degrees in gynaecology and obstetrics are qualified for conducting ultrasound in a genetic clinic/ultrasound clinic/imaging centre.

      A senior health department official said the ministry of health and family welfare had issued the circular and asked all states to disseminate the information to appropriate authorities.

      “Several queries had been forwarded to the Union health ministry over whether gynaecologists are qualified to conduct ultrasound procedures under the PCPNDT Act. In response, the Centre issued a circular that categorically mentions that medical practitioners with post graduation education in gynaecology and obstetrics are qualified for conducting ultrasounds,” the official added.

      Public health minister Suresh Shetty said the move will ensure better vigilance and monitoring of doctors. “In many sex determination cases, it is observed that the gynaecologist puts the blame on the radiologist and vice versa. With gynaecologists being allowed to conduct ultrasound clinical tests, there is a possibility of reduction in such blame game cases,” Shetty added.

      But the orders have triggered a fresh controversy between the government and the medical fraternity. Medicos, especially radiologists, feel that they are being targeted by the state government when it comes to measures to curb the declining child sex ratio. Radiologists in the city have certain reservations over the issue. Dr Vipil Salgia, who runs a diagnostic centre near Bombay Hospital, said that in comparison to gynaecologist, radiologists will always be more adept at examination and interpretation of the cases.

      However, a gynaecologist from a government hospital said, “Allowing gynaecologists to perform ultrasound imaging will help pregnant women get better medical service under one roof. The move will benefit patients as they won’t have to travel from the gynaecologist to the radiologist and then back with reports.”

      However, senior radiologist Dr Mitosh Ruparel, said, “In some serious cases, if the gynaecologist fails to properly examine the case and then refers it to the radiologist, there is a possibility of delay in providing medical care, which could prove fatal. Hence, I think radiologists are the right choice for examination, detection and interpretation of patients’ problems.”