A panel of medical doctors to determine on termination of being pregnant past 24 weeks as proposed within the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Amendment Bill, 2020, is “unfeasible” as 82% of those posts are mendacity vacant within the nation, finds a brand new study.
The MTP Bill was passed in Lok Sabha in March 2020, and is prone to be introduced earlier than Rajya Sabha throughout the ongoing Budget Session.
The Bill proposes a number of amendments, together with the structure of a Medical Board in each State and UT, which can determine on pregnancies past 24 weeks in circumstances of foetal abnormalities. Each board can have one gynaecologist, one radiologist or sonologist, one paediatrician, and different members prescribed by the State/UT authorities
The report analysed district-wise availability of specialists, together with surgeons, obstetricians and gynaecologists, physicians and paediatricians. It discovered that for every of the years between 2015-2019, the shortfall in these posts hovered between 71% to 81.8%. For the yr 2019, for a complete of 21,296 vacancies within the nation, solely 3,880 had been crammed, that’s, there was a shortfall of 81.8%.
The information relies on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Rural Health Survey, which gives particulars of vacancies crammed at secondary healthcare centres. Similar information for city areas was unavailable. The study has been introduced out by the Centre for Justice, Law and Society on the O.P. Jindal Law Global School and its chief writer is Professor Dipika Jain.
The shortfall was starker within the northeast the place Sikkim, Mizoram and Manipur had a complete absence of obstetricians and gynaecologists, and a close to complete absence of paediatricians. Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya had a 100% scarcity of paediatricians.
“The MTP Bill is not set in a rights-based framework and Medical Boards are draconian and invasive as they strip away autonomy from the pregnant person. Our study indicates a severe lack of doctors across India and this will make the setting up of Boards unfeasible. Even if the Boards are set up, pregnant persons who are in more remote areas of the country will incur many costs in travelling and this will add to their financial burden. This legal reform will make access to abortion more challenging for many people, especially those from marginalised groups,” mentioned Dr. Jain.
The World Health Organization additionally urges nations to not create limitations by together with complicated authorisation processes and famous that “negotiating authorization procedures disproportionally burdens poor women, adolescents, those with little education and those subjected to, or at risk of, domestic conflict and violence, creating inequality in access”.