Botched eye surgeries: Punjab refuses HP's request for compensation to victims | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Botched eye surgeries: Punjab refuses HP's request for compensation to victims

In a rude shock to the state government, the neighbouring state of Punjab has rejected its request for compensation to Himachal residents who were partially blinded last year after their cataract operations at a charity eye camp went wrong.

punjab Updated: May 02, 2015 21:27 IST
Gaurav Bisht

In a rude shock to the state government, the neighbouring state of Punjab has rejected its request for compensation to Himachal residents who were partially blinded last year after their cataract operations at a charity eye camp went wrong.

“Punjab government is not ready to compensate the victims,” additional chief secretary (health) Vineet Chawdhary, who is also the officiating chief secretary, told the Hindustan Times.

“Our neighbor has communicated that the patients for the surgeries were selected at an eye camp held in Himachal, so they refuse to compensate the victims,” he added.

In March last year, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nagni Mata Mandir Prabandhak Committee had conducted the surgeries, after a free eye checkup camp in Kandwal in the state. Out of the total 10 people who lost sight due to the operation later at Pathankot, seven were from Himachal.

The matter came into light following a complaint by one of the victims to the state authorities and Medical Council of India (MCI) in nine months later in December.

The mishap raising a storm, the Himachal government had asked the Punjab government to work out the compensation to the victims, besides a detailed probe.

The Himachal government had also sought details on the “contaminated” medicines used on the victims, as was claimed by doctors in Jalandhar who later treated these patients.

Also, a probe conducted by the state health department revealed presence of dangerous pseudomonas bacteria in the medicine used on the patients.

The state government also wrote to the government of Tamil Nadu, where the medicines were manufactured, to lift samples, and also to the central drug authority (CDA) for appropriate action in this regard.

The NGO claimed that the patients were screened with permission from the health department.