At least 10 complaints against foetal sex determination and foeticide were raised to the Directorate of Medical Services across the State in 2019. Officials said that action has been taken against eight complaints and many medical practitioners have also been served notices.
In 2018, 16 such cases were registered with the State Health Department, most of which were individual complaints filed in secrecy. Seven medicos, including doctors and para medical staff, were arrested in 2018 after they were found guilty of being involved in foetal sex determination in various districts across Tamil Nadu.
In 2019, action was taken against eight units and doctors based on reports from anonymous complainants. And even last week, a quack — who had been running medical laboratory and scan centre — was held from Velacherry for conducting sex determination tests for years.
“Revealing the sex of the foetus is prohibited by the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT), 1994 and when we receive complaints of violation, we try to catch them red-handed. In case of any such complaints, we are immediately taking action and situation has improved in many districts,” said Dr Kamalakkannan, superintendent at Directorate of Medical Services.
Authorities from the Health Department said that the Directorate is authorised to seal the premises of medical establishments where these quacks and medical practitioners undertake foetal sex determination and foeticide.
“The female birth ratio has improved in districts. Cuddalore, Salem, Perambalur and other districts have better ratio now after continuous raids have been conducted to prevent such cases,” Dr Kamalakkannan said.