The Delhi High Court clearly bars lab technicians from verifying medical test reports and they can just perform tests and note their technical analysis. But the countersignature of a pathologist, registered with the medical council is a must to convert them into a certified report, observed the high court.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru on September 15, 2017, has ruled out the possibility of pathology laboratory technicians to certify medical test reports by performing tests. These orders have been made on a petition moved by Association of Clinical Microbiologists and Biochemists (ACMB) against Medical Council of India (MCI) on June 14, 2017, had communicated the decision of its executive committee that all lab reports should be signed/countersigned by persons registered with MCI/State Medical Councils. Association of Clinical Microbiologists and Biochemists stated that it is against the members valuable right to conduct their trade and profession. ACMB also stated that the announced result is without jurisdiction and contrary to Section 15(2) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (IMC Act).
ACMB said their technicians are highly experienced and engaged in testing but not have the degree of MBBS and/or MD degrees, so can’t register by the MCI or State Medical Councils. Association said the conducting and submitting test is not an easy job, it required skills and knowledge, and their experts have amply qualification to certify reports.
National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibrating Laboratories, respondent no.3 is qualified to provide certification to pathology laboratories and no accreditation from MCI is required is also been stated. Vikas Singh drew court attention when stated clause (c) of Section 15(2) IMC Act which states no person other than a duly qualified medical practitioner is entitled to sign any medical report and said IMC Act not provide any framework for prescribing the standards for technicians engaged in a pathology laboratory. So members of association can’t sign a medical report or a medical certificate.
After hearing arguments from both, Justice Vibhu Bakhru concluded that any diagnosis must necessarily be co-signed by a qualified medical practitioner.