Punjab State National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) has issued guidelines to be followed by organisers and doctors wanting to hold eye surgery camps in the state.
Besides fixing responsibility and liability of doctors, NGOs and district coordinators, it has now been mandated that an eye surgeon must not do more than 25 operations in a day. An operation theatre is also not to be used for performing more than 50 surgeries a day. Previously, there have been instances when even 100 surgeries have been performed. These guidelines are compulsory.
The organisers also have to inform the district coordinator of the NPCB 15 days before the camp.
Copies of the guidelines titled ‘Norms of Service Delivery in Eye Camps-2015’ have been sent to the districts.
After botched up eye surgeries at a Gurdaspur eye camp two months back, which resulted in loss of eyesight for several people, the State unit of National Programme for Control of Blindness has started formulating comprehensive guidelines, with the help of the experts of medical colleges in Punjab and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh.
NPCB district co-ordinator Dr Manjit Singh said, “I have received new guidelines on the organisation of camps and those were circulated to the NGOs and doctors, with which we were having Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for organising camps. All were asked to adhere to the guidelines. More responsibility now lies with the organisers.”
Ludhiana district has MoUs with nearly 20 NGOs and doctors.
The district committee will collect samples of medicines to be used during surgeries, which will be stored in the civil surgeon Office and in case some problem arises, those will sent for lab testing. For organising screening camps in other districts, the NGOs or the doctors have to sign up an MOU with that particular district or the camp could not be held.
The new guidelines also mandate that the cost of treatment, in case of any post-operation complications would be borne by the organisers. The norms on follow-up checks have also been tightened. Dr Manjit Singh said, “Now, a follow-up after the second day, fifth day, seventh day and one month of the surgery will be done.”