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Maha Govt to Introduce Law to Curb Malpractices in Pathological Labs

Written by : Jayati Dubey

July 10, 2024

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The law aims to regulate the industry more strictly and ensure that only certified and licensed labs operate in the state.

In a significant move to address rampant malpractices in pathological laboratories across Maharashtra, the state government has planned to introduce a new law to curb these issues.

The announcement was made in the legislative assembly on Monday, following numerous complaints from legislators about the unregulated operations of these labs.

Industries minister Uday Samant informed the assembly that the new legislation would include provisions for punishment, rules, and procedures for issuing certificates to pathological laboratories.

The law aims to regulate the industry more strictly and ensure that only certified and licensed labs operate in the state.

"It is true that these laboratories are indulged in many irregularities. The state government is bringing a separate law, which has come for the government's approval. The law has the provision of the punishment, rules, and the procedure to issue the certificate," said Samant.

Further, the state government plans to form flying squads at the district level to enforce the new regulations. These squads will conduct raids on illegal laboratories, shut them down, and initiate criminal action against their operators.

Moreover, for labs that fail to register with the authorities, the state government will cancel their licenses.

Legislative Concerns

The call for stricter regulation came after legislators from various parties highlighted the widespread malpractices in pathological labs. They alleged that many labs operate without certification, employ unqualified staff, and have dubious connections with hospital personnel.

The legislators demanded that criminal actions be taken against such laboratories and their operators.

Minister Samant revealed that since 2019, the Maharashtra Paramedical Council has issued certificates to 785 laboratories across the state, including 185 in Mumbai.

However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has informed the state government that it lacks the authority to issue licenses or monitor these labs despite having 197 labs within its facilities in Mumbai.

Linking Certification to Existing Health Laws

Former public health minister Rajesh Tope suggested linking the issuance of certificates to pathological laboratories to the Maharashtra Nursing Home Act.

He also called for stricter actions against bogus doctors and stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to tackling the issue.

BJP MLA Ashish Shelar reiterated the demand for strict action against unauthorized blood sample collection centers in the state. He highlighted the need for regulation to ensure public health safety and integrity.

Allegations of Corruption & Safety Violations

Shiv Sena legislator Ajay Chaudhari accused public hospital staff of colluding with nearby private labs to divert patients.

He claimed that digital signatures and names of doctors with MDs in pathology are misused to issue reports, further undermining the credibility of these labs.

While BJP's Sunil Rane raised concerns about some labs violating fire safety and biomedical waste disposal norms. These violations pose serious risks to public health and safety.

Minister Samant assured the assembly that the proposed law would ensure stringent action against violators. He also mentioned that district committees for taking action against bogus doctors would be reactivated.

In case of delays in enacting the new law, the government plans to link the certification process to the existing Nursing Home Act to expedite the regulation of pathological labs.


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