BENGALURU: Less than a fortnight ago, Upa Lokayukta Subhash B Adi recommended compensating 2,478 women who underwent unwarranted hysterectomies in Mandya.
However, five months after Express reported about illegal hysterectomies in Haveri, around 1,520 of them done over a period of six years, no medical authority has assessed their records to determine whether they were required or not.
Last month, the Health and Family Welfare Department referred the case to the Anti Corruption Bureau, on the government’s instructions, as the CID had argued, the case was registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and hence cannot be investigated by them.
Medical negligence and clinical mismanagement aspects in the case weren’t mentioned in the FIR, not even the words ‘alleged unwarranted hysterectomies’ as reported previously by Express. Health Minister K R Ramesh Kumar had in March told Express that what was not there in the FIR cannot be probed and that an additional FIR would be lodged.
DySP Bhumareddy A S, Ranebennur, told Express, “The case file is still with Ranebennur town police. We have received no official communication to hand it over to ACB. I had called 20-25 women to the police station and except the discharge summary there is no other medical records with them. I have to collect further records, constitute a medical expert committee and then present the records to them.”
He added that the investigation had been challenged in court by the accused and that the court had provided a stay until the next hearing. “The Health Department has to get the stay vacated in the next hearing,” he said.
Shivaputrappa Mallad, state president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangh, of the Akhandanandaswami faction, who has been fighting for the women, said, “The only thing the women were given were discharge summaries. What else do the police need? They told us that for the initial investigation only a handful of women are required and hence only 25 of them went, there are many more.”
Haveri District Health Officer Mahesh Baddi said, “On instructions from the directorate of health services, we interviewed 40-50 women, saw their medical records and sent a report to the directorate. I don’t know if this has been used for the investigation.” Health Commissioner Subodh Yadav and Health Minister Ramesh Kumar were unavailable for comment.