MCI Bars M.Sc & Ph.D. Holders From Certifying Medical Test Lab Reports
The candidates having M.Sc with Ph.D. or Ph.D. in medical microbiology, medical biochemistry, life sciences, applied biology, cytogenetics, and biotechnology are no longer eligible to certify medical Lab Reports as the Medical Council of India (MCI) has clarified that any qualification other than MBBS or MD Pathology/ biochemistry/ microbiology is not eligible to sign a lab report.
The MCI has made this clear to the National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL). Earlier, the NABL had sought clarification from MCI whether the M.Sc with Ph.D. candidates who as a matter of fact are not registered with MCI are eligible to sign medical laboratory reports; can persons holding MBBS degree registered with MCI/State Medical Council sign the medical test reports ?; can Ph.D. (medical microbiology, medical biochemistry, life sciences, applied biology, cytogenetics, biotechnology) in relevant discipline be allowed to sign medical test reports ? If not, can the same be allowed if they are co-authorised with a person registered with MCI/State Medical Council?
The above matter was considered by the MCI’s Ethics Committee at its several meetings and lastly on February 6 & 7, 2017. The decision of the Ethics Committee was placed before the Executive Committee of the MCI for approval on April 11, 2017. It was decided by the Executive Committee that “All lab reports to be signed/countersigned by persons registered with MCI/State Medical Council.”
The MCI in a letter on June 14, 2017, has informed NABL and secretary to the ministry of health & family welfare about the executive committee decision.
The MCI decision will take its toll on scores of pathology laboratories employing M.Sc with Ph.D. or Ph.D. in above-mentioned disciplines to sign medical test reports.
Maharashtra Association of Practitioners in Pathology and Microbiology (MAPPM) had taken the issue with NABL after it found that a number of path labs have hired candidates with M. Sc with Ph.D. or Ph.D. path labs to certify medical reports in violation of MCI norm.
According to Dr. Sandeep Yadav, president of MAPPM, though the NABL accreditation is a voluntary in nature, it assures that accredited path labs meet quality standards.
If unqualified persons will certify medical reports in accredited labs, the reports will not be authentic hampering patient treatment. The doctor’s diagnosis and patients treatment is totally dependent on the clinical laboratory tests, he said.
He added that the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and professional regulations 2002 clearly says that MBBS is the minimum qualification to practice a modern system of medicine. Signing a pathology report is considered a practice of modern medicine. Any qualification other than MBBS or MD pathology/biochemistry/microbiology is not eligible to sign a lab report by law.
Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act 1961 also states that running a pathology laboratory and examining the samples of blood, urine, and other body fluids/tissues and signing out corresponding reports is a medical practice. Such specialized practice can be carried out under the direct supervision of a qualified pathologist (MBBS with post graduate qualifications in pathology) who is also registered with the Maharashtra Medical Council or the Medical Council of India. Reports generated as a direct consequence of this analysis of blood, urine and other body fluids and tissues can only be signed by suitably qualified and registered pathologist.