05 June 2013
Move To Monitor Healthcare Facilities With Constant Low Birth Ratio Of Girls
All government and private hospitals are now required to keep a display board of the sex ratio at birth, based on the number of deliveries of boys and girls taking place on their premises.
The state government, in a letter issued on May 31, has directed civil surgeons and the civic health department to ensure that all hospitals falling in their respective jurisdictions follow the latest diktat in letter and spirit.
“A decision was taken in the state advisory board’s meeting held in Mumbai on May 3. The letter directing civil surgeons and civic medical officer of health (MoH) to ensure implementation in their jurisdictions was issued on May 31. All hospitals, government and private, will now have to display such a board,” a state health official said.
TOI has a copy of the letter that instructs all hospitals to follow the rule. “The officials entrusted to ensure the implementation need to furnish information about how many hospitals have put such a board along with photos of such display boards installed at the hospitals to the State Family Welfare Bureau periodically,” the letter states.
Child sex ratio is calculated as the number of girls per 1,000 boys in the 0-6 years’ age group. As per global trends, the normal child sex ratio should be above 950. When the ratio is calculated at birth — the number of girls born per 1,000 boys — it is called sex ratio at birth. The sex ratio at birth is a better indicator of prenatal sex selection. The ideal sex ratio at birth is 951 girls per 1,000 boys.
“We will ensure that all hospitals follow the latest government directive. Our team of officials overseeing the effective implementation of the PCPNDT Act within the municipal limits of Pune city will implement the rule,” S T Pardeshi, medical officer of health (MoH), Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said.
“There are three indicators for measuring the sex ratio — overall sex ratio, child sex ratio and sex ratio at birth. Sex ratio at birth is a sensitive indicator, independent of sex specific mortality and migration. The objective of the latest diktat is to assess the scenario of sex ratio at birth at different hospitals,” said another top state health official from State Health Systems Resource Centre (SHSRC), a technical and research wing of department of health and family welfare. The move will help find hospitals constantly showing low birth ratio of girls born per 1,000 boys and facilitate corrective measures.
Other Directives The PCPNDT Act
- Use of pre-natal (before delivery) diagnostic techniques are allowed only on medical grounds for detecting abnormalities and anomalies and not for sex determination Section 6 a,b,c t No person conducting pre-natal diagnostic procedures shall communicate to the pregnant woman concerned or her relatives the sex of the foetus by words, signs or in any other manner Section 5
- All clinics conducting ultrasound must be registered and certificate displayed.-No of machines, qualification of person conducting sonography and period of registration Section 19(4)
- All clinics should display prominently 'disclosure of sex of the foetus is prohibited under the law' in English as well as in local language Rule 17 (1) t All clinics should have available copy of Act Rule 17 (2)
- Doctors or clinics advertising sex determination test in any form are liable for punishment Section 22 t Every offence under this Act is cognizable, nonbailable and non-compoundable Section 27 t Implementing authority under the Act is Appropriate Authority Section 17
- Under the Act, appropriate authority has power to search, seize and seal clinics Section 30
- Act has made it mandatory to maintain records of every scan done Section 29 and Rule 9 Section 5 and Rule 10 (1A)