UP: CMO Suspended After Reports Of Cataract Surgery Performed Under Torch Lights Surfaced Online

The Logical Indian Crew

December 27th, 2017

Courtesy: Hindustan Times | Image Credit: Hindustan Times

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of UP’s Unnao district was suspended following reports of the cataract surgeries performed under torchlight. UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh ordered the suspension and also asked for a detailed enquiry into the situation.

Initial probe suggested that the CMO gave permission for surgeries to be performed on December 26 and 27. The screening was supposed to be done on December 25. But the surgeries were conducted on December 25.

“The CMO’s office gave the NGO permission for the screening of patients on Monday, but they got the operations done that day. The hospital superintendent was not informed. There was a communication gap between authorities. This is a clear case of negligence. Serious action will be taken against those found responsible,” said the District Magistrate to The Indian Express.

All the 32 patients are in stable condition and the surgeries have been successful.


Quick recap

At least 32 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district are at risk of losing eyesight as the doctors of a Primary Health Centre performed cataract operations on them under two torch lights. These patients were brought by an NGO for free cataract surgery in the hospital.

The Nawabganj healthcare centre did not have proper facilities or even electricity. The district administrator is conducting a probe on Dr Nutan Saxena and two others, who performed the surgeries after several people complained of itchiness in the eye.

The Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh on Tuesday removed Chief Medical Officer of Unnao Rajendra Prasad from his post after the reports surfaced online. The in-charge of the community health centre (CHC) at Nawabganj has also been removed.

Not only this, several relatives complained that the patients after the surgery were made to lie down on the floor despite the severe weather conditions and no beds were provided to them. They were given blankets and mattresses only after Unnao district magistrate, Ravi Kumar N came to know about the surgeries and rushed a team of medical officers to the PHC, according to a Hindustan Times report.



“This is the height of negligence. No one will be spared. Tough action will follow after the probe team submits its report on Tuesday evening,” Kumar said, adding that a probe is being conducted by joint magistrate Manish Bansal and additional chief medical officer, Unnao.

The Nawabganj Hospital at best can accommodate 5 beds. The hospital does not even have electricity at night and the generator was kept off because of cost-cutting.

Rajaram, a patient from Mahatawan, said the patients were not given any medicine or bed after the surgery. “Most of us have severe itching in the eyes. It is unbearable and doctors are not attending the problem,” he told the Hindustan Times.


The Logical Indian Take

Uttar Pradesh has been gaining bad press for the last few months starting with the death of 60 babies in the Gorakhpur Hospital facility. The UP Chief Minister has been busy campaigning in different states but he should first focus on the internal matters of his own state. Also, the state should focus their expenditure more on improving healthcare rather than opening “cow sanctuaries”.

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