NHRC issues notice to Uttar Pradesh government over cataract operations, seeks response in two weeks

There were reports of over 30 persons being operated for cataract in torchlight at a Unnao community health centre (CHC) on Monday night.

Published: 27th December 2017 09:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2017 09:09 PM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

LUCKNOW: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), taking the suo motu cognizance of the sheer negligence, wherein, over 30 persons were operated for cataract in torchlight at a Unnao community health centre (CHC) on Monday night, has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday.

Referring to the media reports over the bizarre incident, the Commission has observed that it was a case of medical negligence and sheer carelessness on the part of the doctors and district health authorities.

Moreover, it also reflected the actual condition of the health centres in UP where basic amenities needed to treat the patients were absent, the Commission said in the notice. 

It has added that ironically, the OTs in UP hospitals were devoid of a foolproof power backup system thus putting the human lives at risk.

It may be recalled that controversial surgeries were conducted under the light of two torches at the five-bed strong community healthcare centre (CHC) in Nawabganj in Unnao district, which like many rural areas of Uttar Pradesh gets electricity for only 12 hours a day.

When the incident was reported in a section media, it prompted the state government to transfer the Chief Medical Officer of Unnao and suspend the superintendent of the CHC for negligence and violation of norms.

Issuing the notice to UP Chief Secretary, the NHRC has sought government’s clarification on six points within two weeks. The notice asks the government to furnish the name, address and mobile numbers of all those patients who were operated at the CHC.

It has also sought the post-operative recovery report of all the patients and why there was no power back up in OT.

The commission has asked the government about the action taken against the doctors and hospital administration for allowing the surgeries in torchlight and if the doctors have done surgeries in such a way earlier also. The notice also seeks reply on the alternative arrangement in case of power outage in the hospital.

On the other, in a further development, SDM Manish Bansal, who conducted the probe into the incident, has come out with a few startling facts again prompting the state government to suspend Additional Chief Medical Officer (ACMO) of Auriayya Dr KK Srivastava in the episode on Wednesday.

According to sources, Bansal’s probe report claims that Dr KK Srivastava conducted all the surgeries by changing his name, thereby, committing impersonation. Actually, the operations had to be done by on Dr Nutan Saxena on behalf of the NGO but Dr KK Srivastava conducted all the surgeries himself.

Moreover, the NGO (Om Jagdamba Sewa) which had organised the camp in Nawabganj is run by Dr Srivatava’s wife and it had a target of conducting 4000 such surgeries in Unnao district. 

The NGO was supposed to get Rs 10o0 per surgery. Meanwhile, Unnao administration has sought all the information about Dr KK Srivatsava from Auraiyya DM and legal proceeding was initiated against Srivastava.

The sources said that Additional District Health Director Atul Mishra had lodged a complaint against Srivastava at Ajgain police station in Unnao.

On Tuesday, Unnao Chief medical officer (CMO) Rajendra Prasad was shifted and the health department had suspended CHC superintendent Dinesh Dass for negligence and allowing the surgeries in violation of norms.

After the procedure, the patients lay on the floor for more than six hours in biting cold and were provided blankets and mattresses only after the district magistrate rushed a team of medical officers to Nawabganj, sources said.

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