Recently the Medical Council of India (MCI) clarified in an RTI reply that the physical presence of doctors is necessary for authentication of Laboratory reports as well as radiology reports.
With the rise of technology, the use of digitized/scanned signatures has become a widespread norm, particularly in laboratory diagnostic reports. Such advancement of technology, however, while bringing convenience to doctors, really has proved risky as doctors with the growing practice of lending and/or even signature stealing, where signed laboratory reports are given to the patient without the qualified doctor’s authentication of the test.
Many such unethical and illegal actions are taken by the doctors since they can’t be present physically in different areas. One such case was when a pathologist was suspended for a period of one year by the Delhi Medical Council on account of professional misconduct for selling his name and signature to a laboratory that did not even have the required infrastructure.
This happens because due to the unavailability of doctors in remote areas that mostly use digitized or scanned signatures to provide patients with unverified reports and putting their health at risk.
The clarification given by the Medical Council of India is important to safeguard the health of the people. Strict rules and regulations should also be made for the same.