The proposal to replace the term ‘registered medical practitioner’ with ‘health care provider’ in the MTP (Amendment) Bill is against the guidelines of the MCI and various SC judgements. More importantly, they are an enormous compromise on women’s safety.
It is believed the amendments have been incorrectly based on an unscientific study done by Population Council of India in 2012. The study shows trained nurses and ayurveda physicians provide medical abortion as safely as MBBS doctors. At the outset, it may be noted that in 2012, when the MTP Act 1971, which does not allow anyone other than an MBBS doctor to perform abortions, was in force, how could they have been conducting abortions and treating women as guinea pigs? This reveals the abundance of malpractice. The amendment is also against the provisions of the Clinical Establishments Act, which does not recognise even paramedical personnel trained by the doctors for conducting medical procedures. The law also requires that abortions should only be conducted if there is the availability of higher order medical facilities.
Dr Anil Goyal, President, Delhi Medical Council