D & C Act amendment : Ex-servicemen to work as technicians

In the wake of technical manpower crunch across blood banks within the country, the Union health ministry will soon amend Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Rules, 1945 regarding the qualification of ex-serviceman to be recognized as technicians in blood banks.

There are around 2,760 registered blood banks within the country as of today.

Although having technical knowledge and knowledge , on many occasions, ex-servicemen face difficulty to prove that their qualifications are at par with a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) / Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Technology (BMLT). Also, it had been not included in recent GSR 166(E) dated 11 March 2020, where qualification of the technician and technical supervisor and knowledge is mentioned.

In this regard it had been proposed to amend the Rule 122G or Schedule F XIIB of D&C Rules, 1945. Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) under the union health ministry after detailed deliberation agreed on the proposal.

In its joint inspections, Drug Controller General India (DCGI) and State Licensing Authorities (SLAs) have also taken cognizance of the absence of requisite number of transfusion Officers (BTOs) at the blood banks, besides other technical deficiencies like non-calibration of kit .

As per D&C Rules, a 24/7 bank is required to possess a minimum of three BTOs working in shifts. it’s also mandatory that collecting and transfusing of blood and its components be wiped out the presence of a BTO to avoid fatal mistakes.

The blood centre technicians and technical supervisors serving in Defence Services have done transfusion Associate (BTA) class I to III course. There are sizable amount of technicians within the Defence Services, those have done BTA class III/II/I, Diploma in transfusion Techniques (DBTT) courses in accordance with Defence Services Qualification Regulation, 1958 and have adequate experience of working in military hospitals.

However, the qualification viz. BTA class III/II/l and Diploma in transfusion Technology (in accordance with defence services qualification regulation 1958) isn’t mentioned in Schedule F part XIIB of medicine and Cosmetics Act, neither in Rule 122G (where qualification of medic is mentioned).

As per official reports, blood banks within the past have did not operate efficiently thanks to lack of monitoring by technically qualified staff and have exhibited non- compliance in terms of staff strength and instrumentation which may be a violation of Schedule F of medicine and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

Schedule ‘F’, Part XII-B and/or XII-C provisions that the applicant is meant to supply adequate space, plant and equipment for any or all the operations of blood collection or blood processing. It also mandates to supply and maintain adequate technical staff as laid out in the law.

A letter has also been issued by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to all or any SLAs on the topic “Qualification of ex-serviceman to be recognized as technician in blood banks”.

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