Keeping in view the botched-up eye surgeries at Ghuman in Gurdaspur district that shocked the entire nation, the state government has formulated a new policy on holding of eye camps by the non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Under the new policy, the state government has made it mandatory that all such camps will be held under the supervision of the district health society, which will be presided over by the deputy commissioner concerned.
The civil surgeon, under whose area the camp is to be held, will personally inspect all the arrangements and surgical operations can be performed only after he gives the permission. The civil surgeon will have to ensure that the NGO and its team of doctors conducting such camps have the mandatory experience and they follow the guidelines specified in the policy.
The NGOs, desirous of organising such camps, will also have to prove that they have their own eye operation theatre, one ophthalmic surgeon, one assistant and a nursing staff of three people. Also, an eye surgeon who has experience of more than two years can perform operations in such camps.
On the number of operations to be conducted, the policy specifies that a maximum of 25 operations can be performed in one day by one surgeon and there should not be more than 50 operations in one operation theatre per day even if more than two surgeons are working in that theatre.
Proper eye operation theatres can be used to perform eye operations and the minimum duration of an eye camp should be at least three days, out of which two days will be assigned for post operative care and one day for pre-operative arrangements.
Notably, in the case of the Ghuman eye camp, wherein more than two dozen persons partially lost their vision, neither the hospital where the operations were performed had eye operation theatre, nor the permission was taken from the health authorities for conducting these surgeries.
As many as 153 operations were haphazardly performed within four days by a single doctor and post-operative care was not provided to the patients, which resulted into the tragedy.