Genetic labs, counselling centres under health department's lens | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

The absence of adequate checks on genetic labs and genetic counseling centres functioning in the state has prompted the health department to inspect them for possible misuse of sex determination technology.

Sonography centres have to submit form 'F' which gives details of a pregnant woman undergoing an ultrasound scan. Similarly, genetic counseling centres must maintain form 'D' while genetic laboratories need to fill form E.

However, 'health officials have been lax in inspecting the records at these centres', states the letter issued by the state health department to civil surgeons and civic health officials in the city on August 3.

Health authorities said the genetic labs have Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) facilities, which allows testing of the embryo before implantation and hence the daily monitoring of their functioning is crucial.

state health official, on the condition of anonymity, said, "The fact is that there has been no monitoring of genetic labs and genetic counseling centres functioning in Maharashtra. So, we have ordered civil surgeons in rural areas and civic health officials in cities to carry out inspection of such labs and centres and report to us every day."

Asaram Khade, a consultant to the state government on Pre Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, said, "We have started consolidating the exact number of genetic labs and genetic counselling centres functioning in the state. We have issued orders to civil surgeon and municipal corporation health officials to inspect these centres and report to us about the same in the format prescribed.

Like inspection of form F, officials have been told to report to us the daily scrutiny of form D meant for genetic counseling centres and form E for genetic labs."