Sunday, May 21, 2017


Pune Mirror: Vicky Pathare: Pune: Sunday, May 21, 2017.
Health commissioner asks PMC chief to appoint committee for investigating into illegal abortions; Meera and Samarth hospitals under the scanner again
Cases of illegal abortion in gross violation of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act have been reported from various hospitals and clinics in the city in the past but with hardly any positive outcome to stop it. Recently, state health commissioner Pradeep Vyas issued a letter to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner to conduct a fresh investigation into the case of MTP violation by Meera Hospital on Shankar Sheth Road and Samarth Hospital in Kasba Peth.
In his letter on April 24, the health commissioner told the PMC chief to take action against both hospitals while conducting a probe by a highlevel committee about the MTP violation done in 2013-14.
Ganesh Borhade, an RTI activist, who had highlighted blatant violations of the Act by both the hospitals in the past, demanded action to be taken against PMC health chief Dr S T Pardeshi and vice-chief Dr Anjali Sabane for shielding hospital doctors involved in the breach of law. He had written to additional director of health services Dr Archana Patil to take action against the hospitals and PMC health officials. The same complaint was transferred to the health commissioner.
Borhade alleges, “Meera Hospital conducted abortion on a foetus of 21 weeks and 6 days which is against the MTP Act, 1971, as per which only termination of a foetus of 20 weeks is allowed. Samarth Hospital had conducted 32 abortions in a specific time span in a suspicious way in March 2013.”
He added, “PMC health chief Dr Pardeshi, in the past, had issued notices to these hospitals and assured that suitable action would be taken but the committee gave a clean chit to Meera Hospital, stating that the foetus aborted there, according to sonography reports, was 20 weeks old.”
However, Dr Vaishali Jadhav of PMC, Borhade added, had submitted a report, stating that the foetus was actually 21 weeks and 6 days old when the pregnancy was terminated but no action has been taken against them till now.
Defending the PMC, Dr Pardeshi said, “We have submitted the committee report earlier. During the investigation, no violation was found on any of the hospitals’ part. We have received the letter and a new high-level committee will be formed. But, there is nothing new to be investigated and the allegations are baseless.”
Dr Aachut Umranikar, head, Meera Hospital, denied all the charges. “The allegations made against me are erroneous and I haven’t received any letter from the PMC yet. I have even consulted with my lawyer regarding this. The allegation levelled by Borhade is wrong; even the name of the lady the complainant has given in his application, is not true,” he added.
Dr Rajendra Gundawar, partner, Samarth Hospital, echoed Umranikar. “We have submitted all the details in the past. Even if they ask the details, we will do the same. There was no violation of the MTP and we have already gone through a high-level investigation in the past also. So far as revisiting the probe is concerned, we have not received any orders from the PMC till now.”