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M.Sc,/Ph.D :The back bone of Medical Laboratory

  • Dr. Rasheeduddin

Biomedical Scientists (M.Sc,/Ph.D) are the main force all over the world responsible for making valuable contributions for human health. Few ex, discovery of Microscope, PCR, HIV& its medicine, .PCR is very valuable for testing of HIV, Dengue, Cancersetc. Famous books which are used in medical labs & colleges all over the world including India are significantly authored by M.Sc,/Ph.D. Will MCI/NABL/CEA also make a rule that innovations done by M.Sc,/Ph.D should not be used in medical practice?

M.Sc,/Ph.D from several decades contributingto the field of medical laboratory as directors, consultants, scientists, all over the world including USA, Canada, Australia etc., without them there would not have been existence of medical labs.

 Microbiology, Biochemistry and Pathology are areas of Medical Labs. These are the purely non-clinical subjects. M.Sc,/M.D/Ph.D  dealing with these subjects are not called as clinicians and are not responsible for treating patients. Clinicians such as cardiologist, nephrologist, gynecologist, pediatrician, pulmonologist, etc directly examine the  health conditions (clinical signs/symptoms) of patients and advise specific lab test. Clinicians always correlate health conditions of the patient and lab test results and accordingly plan for treatment.

Clinical and laboratory fields are rapidly improving day by day. What one studied as a student gets outdated and has to update frequently with new knowledge. A nephrologist knows very well about treatment of kidney but he cannot treat a cardiac patient as a cardiologist does. Laboratory professionals (M.Sc,/M.D/Ph.D)have updated knowledge of only laboratory science of their specialization (Pathology or Microbiology or Biochemistry) and not of clinical subjects.

All details of sample testing procedure including test result interpretation and correlation are well written in Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of a Lab. Lab professionals (M.Sc,/M.D/Ph.D)  has to strictly follow SOP during entire processing of sample till the release of test results. SOP has to be updated periodically. For ex, if a particular test comes Positive/Negative/Borderline (or some value 130 units) even on repetition with same and/or fresh sample irrespective of the patient health conditions, same test result is released with a note advised of repeat/further testing after specific time period and suggested clinical correlation. Tampering result is unethical in laboratory profession.

Only few medical labs in the country are performing biotechnology testing (molecular biology, genetics, etc) exclusively with the help of  M.Sc,/Ph.D  personnel. Few years back Medical labs were completely unaware of this field.Will biotechnologists be considered as incompetent in issuing the lab reports once they completely establishes biotechnology labs as it is now happening for M.Sc,/Ph.D   (biochemistry & microbiology) ?

Development in Biomedical sciences is never ending, presently all highly sophisticated testing like DNA finger printing ex; for parenting dispute is only performed by M.Sc,/Ph.D   in renowned institutes like CDFD of Hyderabad.

We Indians are extreme in emotions, we take up a person to the level of God or else attack when are not satisfied.We all are human beings irrespective of our profession and merely holding a specific degree doesn’t guarantee knowledge and excellence. Dedication, hard-work and perseverance excel one in his field of profession.

 A letter stating ‘biomedical scientists (MSc/PhD) in medical laboratories are not allowed to sign the reports’ was recently issued by Medical Council of India (MCI) in response to the query of NABL. RTI through the Ministry of Health has replied that MCI/ NABL are not authorized to decide the qualification of the people working in medical laboratories. This information was received on 16.06.2017 but MCI had already issued the letter to NABL on 14.06.2017. It is clearly understood that some people working in NABL & MCI have vested interests for hatching this anti-social propaganda which badly affect the livelihood of huge number of countrymen.  The Indian government should immediately investigate this matter and take legal action against those who are involved in this heinous act. MCI has always been in news for its wrong deeds and soon will be dissolved and replaced by National Medical Council. 

Short of 5 lakh doctors, India has just 1 doctor for 1,674 people, worse than Vietnam, Algeria and Pakistan — the shortage of doctors is one of the health-management failures, report presented in Parliament on March 8, 2016.With these figures if policy makers want only MBBS/MD to sign lab reports, it forces MBBS/MD to sell their electronic sign to many labs. Although such malpractices already notified by the media. Do policy makers want medical students to be Non-Clinicians (laboratory doctors) rather than to be Clinicians (treat patients)? If yes, then it will further bring down doctor to patient ratio, which is already the concern of the Government. 

The health ministry should understand how to cater the health care needs of approximately 6.5lakhs of villages  and 5000 plus towns present in our country with 1.3 billon population. Even combining both MD’s and MSc,/ PhD together also not sufficient enough to run the small to medium size labs in every corner of India. 

Dr.Tedros A.G,Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), done his M.Sc, Ph.D, leading the UN health agency to ensure the highest achievable level of health for all people, whereas in India we consider the same qualification not good enough to sign lab reports.Out of 60 Nobel laureate of Medicine in last 25 years, 47 are PhD with basic science and most of them are from USA and Europe. We want our country to be as developed as USA, but do we think and work as well as USA and Europe?

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