THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Doctors in the government sector, who perform laparoscopic sterilisation, are a worried lot with the government not providing medico-legal support if and when persons who had undergone such surgery approach the court.
Once doctors face court cases, they get support only from the Professional Protection Scheme of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and that too only if they are life-term members.
Noting that failures can happen in some persons who undergo laparoscopic sterilisation, the doctors said that they were not getting the due support in most of the cases.
Indian Medical Association state secretary A V Jayakrishnan said: “Doctors now perform laparoscopic sterilisation at their own risk. They face mental trauma and physical strain while fighting the case individually even though the sterilisation is being performed as part of a national programme.”
Moreover, people file cases even after signing the approval letter that clearly states that they would avail of the insurance amount as per the norms of the national programme if there is a failure.
It is rumoured that those who file cases do so after having a girl child after the sterilisation failure. If it’s a baby boy, no cases are generally filed, the doctors said.
Another aspect pointed out is that the people who undergo sterilisation are asked to approach the doctor in case of any failure. But in most cases, they directly approach the court.
Stating that fighting cases without any support was difficult most of the time, Dr Maya of the Women and Children Hospital, Thycaud, said: “The only support that we get is from the Indian Medical Association and that too only if a doctor is a life-term member.”
Maya, who is facing such a condition, said that the legal unit of the Directorate of Health Services, when approached, said that they only fought cases for the Director and the Additional Director. “This is the system that we have. The doctors who perform the sterilisation at their own risk are left in the lurch,” she said.
Moreover, the unit chiefs are made liable when a failure happens and the doctors who perform the sterilisation are spared, she said.
Most of the doctors who perform laparoscopic sterilisation are not even provided a meagre incentive by the various hospitals. It is said that some doctors haven’t received any incentives for more than three years.
Stating that the issue raised by the doctors was a serious one, Kerala Government Specialist Doctors Association (KGSDA) secretary Sunjith Ravi demanded government’s medico-legal support for doctors who perform laparoscopic sterilisation. “Failures can happen, but the government stand that the cases should be fought individually cannot be agreed upon,” he said.