National MSc Medical Teachers’ Association (NMMTA) delegation met Union Health Minister JP Nadda

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New Delhi: In the backdrop of raging controversy over the signing of diagnostic laboratory test reports, office bearers of the National MSc Medical Teachers’ Association (NMMTA), have met the Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda at Parliament and sought his intervention in setting right the anomaly.

Medical M.Sc degree holders in the subjects of Biochemistry and Microbiology have been working as consultants (Microbiologists or Biochemists) in both the private and Government diagnostic laboratories since decades. “The training imparted to the medical M.Sc students in the medical colleges, which is at par with the doctors with MD in the same subjects, have empowered them to undertake this role efficiently”, stated Mr. Arjun Maitra, Secretary of NMMTA.

Recently, in a private communication to the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), the Medical Council of India (MCI) wrote that only persons registered with MCI/State Medical Council should sign/countersign laboratory reports. Following widespread outrage, NABL reverted to its previous guidelines of giving signatory authority to medical M.Sc degree holders. “MCI’s letter to NABL has been misconstrued as MCI’s order and is being misused to deny signatory roles to medical M.Sc Biochemists and Microbiologists. MCI has clarified that it has no jurisdiction over private hospitals, nursing homes and diagnostic laboratories, yet it takes the liberty to opine on who should sign the laboratory test reports”, said Mr. Maitra.

“The only authority to decide who should sign the laboratory reports rests with the guidelines of the state or central Clinical Establishments Acts, not MCI” opined Dr. Sridhar Rao, President of NMMTA. “Some states have their own acts and guidelines whereas some states have neither own acts nor have adopted the central act”, he added. The guidelines of the central act are still in the draft stage and the health ministry has sought public feedback on it. In its reply, NMMTA has asked medical M.Sc degree to be included in the Human Resource section for the roles of in-charge/specialists/consultants for all the three category of laboratories. In their meeting with the health minister, NMMTA requested that medical M.Sc courses should be reintroduced into the first schedule of the IMC Act and the degree holders must be registered in a council.

“An attempt is being made to wrongly project laboratory services as the practice of the medicine. The clauses in the sub-section 2 of the Section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act, which states that only registered doctors should sign or authenticate a medical or fitness certificate or any other certificate required by any law, is being unscrupulously extended to laboratory reports” said Dr. Rao. “It is not about the signatory roles, we must be given opportunities to serve the healthcare needs of the nation. We are not here to compete, we are here to complement the doctors so that the society can be benefited”, said Mr. Maitra. Health Minister, who gave a patient hearing to the NMMTA’s representatives, assured to take it up.

A copy of memorandum was also submitted to Shri Alok Kumar, Advisor, NITI Aayog.
NMMTA is a national-level association of persons, registered at Delhi with office bearers from different parts of India and members from 26 states across India. NMMTA is a registered association of persons who have medical M.Sc postgraduate degree in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology or Microbiology awarded under the faculty of medicine and conducted by any medical college/institution (recognized by Medical Council of India). Aims of NMMTA is to bring medical scientists from different departments under one body ,to promote medical science by interdisciplinary exchanges , to explore research and job possibilities for members , to co-ordinate recent developments in medical science with scientific exchanges from universities, colleges and healthcare industries ,to represent the academic and employment related issues of members and to bring out scientific publications.

  • ayan das

    The decision to omit MSc from signatory authority is equivalent to ethnic cleansing for maintaining purity of race. This move will jeopardize future af thousands and many more associated with them. If govt is concerned about quality, it should conducting licensing exam for signatory authority for all degree holders ( as done in western countries). This will serve all purpose and remove discrimination at the same time.

  • anil choudhury

    NMMTA delegates have done very right thing at right moment to project the real scenario,where the role of M.Sc. Medical persons in the field of teaching in medical colleges and in diagnostic laboratories had long been oppressed in spite of serving flawlessly in this field for decades, to the higher authorities who are kept in dark about the nature and curriculum of M.Sc. Medical course indifferent subjects. To save the dignity of highly esteemed M.Sc. Medical, Ph.D.Medical courses, as are considered in other parts of world, these courses should be registered under medical council as it is taught under medicine.faculty like M.D. course. Also medical council should include members from Medical M.Sc. person in its committee. Hope.after this meeting with NMMTA delegates, Government would rectify Central Clinical Establishment act rule and include M.Sc. degree in the human resource section for the role as signatory authority and in charge in all types of Clinical laboratory.

  • Sandip Ghosh

    Thank you NMMTA for bringing the plight of the medical MSc teachers into the sight of the ministry. I am hopeful that the Union Health Minister will definitely understand our issue and do the needful for upholding our importance in India. we are here to serve nation. To Medical fraternity I would like to say we are children of same subject. Please do not discriminate among us.

  • Baishali Deb

    Happy to hear about the progress of NMMTA in eliminating the discrimination of the M. Scs regarding signing of lab reports. M. Scs have always very keenly and sincerely worked for the medical zone of our country. Now its time that our contribution is recognised with its due respect be it a lab or a classroom. The authorities must let medical M. Sc.s, who have been taught and trained very well their respective subjects, to serve and help the medical situation in our country. Would the authorities prefer to miss out on a chance to this service that M. Scs are very much capable of providing just because of degree certificate discrimination?

  • amar nagesh

    People of our country and Government should recognize the service done by Non Medical MSc People or Biomedical Scientist. They did lot of efforts to improvise the quality of services offered in health care services. And now a days it is been projected wrongly by some medical faculty to the media and to the society. Unfortunately media also supporting such medical people, with out knowing the effect of erasing a highly qualified Biomedical scientist from health care profession especially in diagnostic laboratories. I hope, media also should consider this issue as viral and support NMMTA or Biomedical Scientist in order to save the Biomedical Scientist role in healthcare. I appreciate the efforts of NMMTA for their rights. People, Print and electronic Media, politicians, Lets join our hands and save Biomedical Scientists existence in Healthcare profession. I am ready to answer any queries on this regard – write to me at [email protected]

  • rajesh a.

    Thanks to NMMTA for taking up this issue to health ministry, HRD & PMI, CEA guidelines made without thinking people who have done professional course in
    M.Sc medical microbiology & biochemistry, they ate giving service to helth care sectors more than 5 decades, thousands of professionals working in medical colleges and diagnostic research ll become jobless, it is highly injustice that they were eligible to sign lab reports suddenly with the implementation of CEA they ll be ineligible,violating human rights. In India where there is lack of professionals in diagnostic centers how will they manage. I request health ministry to register professionals qualified M.Sc medicals under MCI.