Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Egad, Indian surrogacy clinic shut down

I know little about this clinic other than the usual gossip that goes on in this industry, gossip I take with a grain of salt. I hope the surrogates are fine and the clients are okay. Innocent until proven guilty. At least this shows India does have regulations for IVF and surrogacy. Hope this doesn't affect any decision by MHA to reverse the ban on medical visas for singles (see previous post).

Popular IVF centre raided, sealed in Bengali Market

A team of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC), constituted under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC & PNDT) Act, 1994, on Tuesday morning swooped down on Dr Anup Gupta’s Delhi IVF Centre at Bengali Market and sealed the place.
In a raid that lasted for eight hours, the team confiscated five ultrasound diagnostic machines and issued a show-cause notice to the IVF centre.
The team allegedly found non-compliance of the Act and irregularities in reporting of patient details who had undergone tests at the centre. The centre specialises in IVF, surrogacy, egg donation, sperm banking, among other facilities.
“The Act demands very strict compliance in reporting and 98% of the centres we seal is because of irregularities in their records. Here, we found inaccurate residential addresses, no details of children of the person undergoing a scan, results of what was investigated among other things in their record,” said an NIMC member, wishing to remain anonymous.
“Also, this centre deals with many cases of surrogacy; we didn’t find information on what happened to the women after delivering a child, how much money was paid, etc.,” added the member.
Claiming it to be a routine inspection, the 16-member team comprised state health ministry officials, the area sub-divisional magistrate, Delhi Police officials and members of the civil society.
Though Dr Gupta did not speak to the media, one of his centre staff said, “He is not available at the moment and there is no non-compliance and no irregularities. We will talk later.”
The raid was marked by a lot of drama. Shopkeepers from the market gathered inside the centre. A few even threatened this reporter while she was speaking to people inside the centre.
“We had clear instructions to switch off our cell phones while the raid was on. These people threatened to burn down the machines and were making calls. We didn’t want any of those intimidating calls,” said a member from the Delhi State Programme, PC & PNDT Act.
Some bewildered patients were in the clinic. They refused to leave even when they were told that the doctor wouldn’t see them. “We have come from very far and it’s not possible to make frequent visits. We were told he is a good doctor,” said a couple from Rohtak, Haryana.
The NIMC was constituted by the Supreme Court three years ago. It has been conducting surprise inspections of clinics and facilities offering ultrasound diagnostic services across the country. There are four teams with about five members each.


rosie said...

Omg we almost choose this clinic except i knew couples who had success at sci and went there. How distressing for everyone attending here hope it gets all sorted ok for everyone

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right Meg the Indian authorities are indeed taking steps to regulate the industry to a level of acceptable medical and ethical standards. Relaxation of regulations regarding which foreign national IP qualifies for surrogacy is a slightly different social issue which hopefully should not be impacted.

Regarding this particular development, as you suggest it is imperative that the authorities ensure that surrogates with babies at this clinic are properly looked after and that medical and financial care for both is not put to risk. This is a very popular clinic with a large and diverse clentele. Indians and others from all walks of life receive fertilty treatment. Foreign nationals come from overseas for treatment and surrogacy. It is the responsibility of the authorities to safeguard the interests of all patients. We hope and pray as Rosie puts it that "it gets all sorted out ok for everyone".

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed extremely distressing for all those IP's and others caught mid-procedure. It encumbent on the government officials to make make one hundred percent sure that each and every one of the surrogate mothers' pregnancies and their health is not compromised in the least bit by this sort of action.

Rereading the article together with the accompanying block of gender statistics suggests that the gender ratio in Delhi against girl babies was one of the main drivers for this investigative action. The government has been closing ultrasound clinics suspected of divulging baby gender prior to birth. There is no evidence that this IVF and fertilty clinic, one of the oldest in Delhi, was engaged in that practise. Let us not prejudge.

Anonymous said...

This center was a BIGG FRAUD