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Maharashtra government plans targeting fraudulent pathology labs

The proposed law will impose strict regulations and penalties on unauthorized labs operating without proper endorsement, restricting pathology services to only certified labs.

On July 9, the Maharashtra government announced its plans to introduce new legislation focused on cracking down on fraudulent pathology labs. This scheme is part of the state’s broader efforts to ensure the accuracy and reliability of medical diagnostics. The proposed law will impose strict regulations and penalties on unauthorized labs operating without proper endorsement, restricting pathology services to only certified labs.

During the Question Hour in the state assembly, Uday Samant, the Higher and Technical Education Minister, announced the government’s draft law targeting bogus pathology labs. He highlighted that the new legislation would establish stringent rules and regulations and would create flying squads to enforce compliance.

Fraudulent Pathology Labs
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Concerns Raised Over Fraudulent Pathology Labs

“Unregistered pathology laboratories will not be allowed to operate,” Samant stated, pointing out that the issue touches on the urban development, public health, and medical education departments.

BJP MLA Ashish Shelar voiced his concerns about the increase in fraudulent pathology labs, stating, “They were exploiting people financially and endangering lives.” He insisted on the need to register numerous collection centers that have sprung up and called for criminal charges against those running them illegally.

Yogesh Sagar of the BJP emphasized the significance of pathology as a foundation for any surgical procedure, noting that the poor often end up using unlicensed labs for testing, which compromises their safety. Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Ajay Choudhary accused fraudulent labs of colluding with government hospitals.

The discussion was sparked by BJP legislator Sunil Rane’s query about the number of pathology labs in Mumbai. Rane expressed astonishment at the government’s reply, which indicated that the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888 does not have provisions for the registration of pathology labs. He underscored the necessity of having a Fire NOC, certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, certification for good clinical practices, and registration for bio-medical waste disposal.

Minister Samant further noted that since 2019, the Maharashtra Paramedical Council has authorized 7,085 candidates to operate pathology labs, with 182 located in Mumbai. Additionally, there are 197 labs within civic-run hospitals in Mumbai.

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