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India


Professionals with MSc degree, three yrs of lab experience can become authorised signatory: Health Ministry

New Delhi, Feb 18 (UNI) The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday made it official that professionals with MSc degree in Medical Microbiology or Medical Biochemistry with three years of laboratory experience can become authorised signatory in diagnostic laboratory for tests respective to their specialization without recording any opinion or interpretation of lab results.
A PhD in Medical Microbiology or Medical Biochemistry shall be required for Medium & Advanced Laboratories, the ministry said in its latest gazette notification.
This notification came after the Board of Governors in supersession of MCI gave its decision regarding the role of authorised signatory to the ministry.

National M.Sc Medical Teachers' Association president Dr Sridhar Rao welcomed this move of the ministry and said, "it was indeed a long battle to win back our rights. Signing authority was snatched from us and many of our members lost jobs or demoted at workplace and faced a lot of hardships".
"Clinical scientists signing laboratory reports is practiced all over the world, including the US, the UK, the European Union, Middle East countries, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc. In fact, the West Bengal government had included the clinical scientists in its Clinical Establishments Act guidelines. With the Union government clearing the way, rest of the states must adopt these guidelines", he added.

Association's Secretary Arjun Maitra said, "We were waiting for this day for long. From 2014 we were fighting for our professional dignity and the opportunity to work in the field of our specialization. Appropriately trained clinical scientists will compensate the acute deficiency of doctors specializing in laboratory medicine."

Since the knowledge and skills regarding the techniques used in the laboratory tests are acquired in the postgraduate course (Medical MSc) itself and the fact that Ph.D doesn't confer any additional knowledge or skill in routine diagnostics, the requirement of Ph.D for medium and advanced laboratories may be omitted. NMMTA has always asked for the restoration of signatory authority based on the PG qualifications, with or without Ph.D. As of now we thank and welcome the decision of the ministry and all else who have supported us.
National M.Sc Medical Teachers' Association (NMMTA) is a registered association of persons who have medical M.Sc postgraduate degree in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology or Microbiology awarded under the faculty of medicine and conducted by any medical college/institution, recognised by the Medical Council of India.
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