NHRC notice to Madhya Pradesh government over 'botched up' cataract surgeries in Indore hospital

The Commission has issued a notice to the chief secretary of the Madhya Pradesh government seeking a detailed report in four weeks.

Published: 29th August 2019 09:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2019 10:55 PM   |  A+A-

Elderly couple Kailash Das and Kala Bai are among the 11 patients who have complained of losing their vision in their left eyes after undergoing cataract surgeries at the hospital in Indore on 8 August 2019. (Photos | Special Arrangement)

Elderly couple Kailash Das and Kala Bai are among the patients who have complained of losing their vision in their left eyes after undergoing cataract surgeries at the hospital in Indore. (Photos | Special Arrangement)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Three weeks after uncontrolled hospital infection post-cataract surgery allegedly caused the loss of vision among 11 patients at the Indore Eye Hospital in Madhya Pradesh’s commercial capital Indore, the state police registered a criminal case against two senior doctors of the concerned private hospital on Thursday.  

The two doctors, including Sudhir Mahashabde (hospital director) and Suhas Bande (hospital’s superintendent), were booked under Sections 336, 337, 338 and 34 of IPC at Indore’s Chhatripura police station in Indore on the complaint of Indore district’s Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) Dr Pravin Jadiya and further investigations are underway.

On Wednesday, the New Indian Express had reported about the Indore District Collector Lokesh Jatav – based on findings of a probe into the entire matter – having recommended the state government to lodge a criminal case against the hospital management.

In the seven-point recommendations sent to state’s health department along with the copy of the fact finding committee’s report, the Indore district collector Lokesh Jatav had recommended banning eye treatment at the Indore Eye Hospital and lodging a criminal case against the hospital.

In the recommendations, Jatav had clearly mentioned that latest incident at the hospital is a repetition of the criminal negligence committed by the same institution in the past, as 18 patients had lost vision post-cataract surgeries at the same hospital in 2010-11.

Besides, the hospital went ahead with the free cataract surgeries on August 8 despite post-surgical infections having caused vision loss among two of the four patients who underwent paid cataract surgery there on August 5.

 “This amounts to a repetition of criminal negligence at the hospital and hence eye treatment should be banned there and a criminal case lodged against the hospital,” Jatav had concluded in the report.

On August 8, as many as 14 poor patients (aged between 50 and 85 years) hailing from Dhar district, had undergone free cataract surgeries at the Indore Eye Hospital under the National Program for Control of Blindness (NPCB).

Just a day later, 11 of those patients, including a couple developed swelling in the operated eyes and subsequently complained vision loss.

A subsequent probe revealed that hospital infection caused by a virulent pathogen could have been behind the post-surgical complications, leading to vision loss.

NHRC notice to MP Government in the matter

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) while taking suo moto cognizance of media reports about alleged botched up cataract surgeries leading to loss of vision in a number of patients at Indore Eye Hospital, Indore, Madhya Pradesh has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. 

The Commission has observed that the contents of the news reports, if true, amount to gross violation of human rights of the victim patients.

Losing eyesight not only makes a person handicapped but also puts the victim under tremendous stress and mental agony.

The reported incidents indicate towards something terribly wrong at the particular hospital which is immediately required to be addressed so that more people do not suffer in future.

It has further observed that it is extremely necessary for the State and district administration to immediately look into the grievance and take effective action against the concerned medical team purported to have acted in a negligent manner causing such irrevocable loss to the victims and to provide relief and rehabilitation to the victims.

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