A police investigation was ordered after 15 elderly patients from Amritsar lost their vision after undergoing an operation in an eye camp conducted by a non-government organisation in neighbouring Gurdaspur district last week.
A patient who lost her eyesight after undergoing surgery in the eye camp. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)
“All 15 patients have gone completely blind and there is no chance of their eyesight getting restored,” Amritsar civil surgeon Rajiv Bhalla told Hindustan Times on Thursday night.
All the patients belong to Gagomahal village in Ajnala, about 40 km from Amritsar.The Amritsar district administration came to know about the shocking incident on Wednesday when the patients were brought to deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat by members of the Kisan Sangharash Samiti. On Friday, Bhagat asked the Gurdaspur district administration to file an FIR.
Most of the patients are residents of Gaggo Mahal village near Ajnala. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)
Bhagat referred the patients to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Amritsar, where tests by eye specialists revealed that all 15 had lost their vision due to a severe post-operation infection.
The camp was held in Ghuman village of Gurdaspur district by an NGO called Guru Nanak Foundation in the last week of November.
“We have no clue about the NGO that organised the eye camp as neither I nor my Gurdaspur counterpart gave any permission to hold this camp,” Dr Bhalla said.
The patients have now been admitted in Dr Ram Lal Eye and ENT Hospital at Majitha Road in Amritsar. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)
While Bhagat has ordered an inquiry, he has written to the Gurdaspur district administration to register a first information report (FIR).
“We will act on the basis of the Amritsar civil surgeon’s probe,” the Gurdaspur deputy commissioner confirmed to HT.
This incident follows the case of botched sterilisation surgeries in Chhattisgarh last month in which 11 women died.