The MP health department on Friday suspended eye surgeon Dr RS Palod and five others for negligence after botched cataract surgeries during an eye camp at the Barwani district hospital led to more than 25 people losing their eyesight.
A team — set up shortly after the incident on the orders of the principal secretary of health services Bhopal — visited the Barwani district hospital on Friday and found lacunae at various levels in the facility.
“Prima facie, finding lacunae at various levels in protocol of the operation, the department has decided to suspend eye surgeon Dr RS Palod, operation assistant Pradeep Choukse, nursing staff Leela Verma, Vinita Choukse, Maya Chouhan and Shabana Mansuri,” Dr Sharad Pandit, joint director of health services, Indore, told HT.
The field team headed by NHM Bhopal director Dr BN Chouhan also included Dr Pandit, Prof Vineeta Rawat from MGM Indore, MYH Indore ophthalmologist Dr Pradeep Goyal, Dileep Mishra (quality control) and drug inspectors Dharmendra Nirgudiya and Pramod Thakur.
The findings of the team have been sent to the government, said Dr Pandit.
The botched surgeries came to light after the chief medical and health officer of Barwani submitted a report on the eye camp to the joint director of health services, Indore, on Thursday.
“An eye check-up camp for cataract was held in Barwani... Soon, the people who were operated upon started developing infections. When their condition deteriorated and they were referred to another ophthalmologist, it was revealed that they were on the brink of losing their eyesight,” said Dr Pandit.
He added that 86 people were operated on for cataract between November 17 and 24, and till Friday, 43 patients had developed infections. The remaining patients too have been called back for a thorough examination, he added.
Dr Chouhan said that slackness and negligence were found rampant in the medical staff at the hospital, adding that instruments, lenses, saline solution and other medicines too have been sent for analysis.
Health minister Narottam Mishra has assured free and full treatment of all patients and proper action against the negligent staff. However, reacting sharply to the incident, Congress district president Sukhlal Parmar has demanded Mishra’s resignation in the matter.
Govt to bear treatment cost
Taking serious note of botched-up cataract surgeries in Barwani district, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal on Friday announced that the state government would bear the entire cost of treatment of the affected patients.
The statement issued by the state government said, “Soon after receiving information about it this morning, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan apprised himself of factual position from senior officers of public health and family welfare department.”
The CM has also directed officials concerned to provide better treatment to all the affected patients. At present, they are being treated at Shri Aurobindo Medical Institute Hospital at Indore.