Tamil Nadu: Sixteen Patients Contracted Infection And Lost Vision After Free Cataract Surgery
Lost vision in a government hospital
16 of the 23 patients who recently underwent the surgery at the government hospital at Mettur in Salem district of Tamil Nadu, have contracted a severe infection and have lost their visions. Doctors couldn’t comprehend a concrete reason for the infection. The Joint Director (Medical) has cited poor personal hygiene maintained by the patients as a reason. The patients are seeking help from the government to help them deal with the issue.
Poor are the victims again
The Mettur government hospital offers free-of-cost cataract surgery every week. Between June 14 to 16, 23 patients underwent the surgery and were discharged on June 18. After two days, they started reporting about excessive pain in their eyes. The private hospital doctors who examined the 16 patients said that the vision of eight of the patients was severely affected while eight other patients have suffered minor loss of vision. All the patients are poor workers above 45 years of age.
Eight of the 16 affected patients are now being treated at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Coimbatore.
A team of officials of health department has launched an inquiry with the patients and doctors in Mettur. According to them, the surgery went flawless.
Health care needs urgent attention
The incident is symbolic of the public healthcare system of India which lacks adequate investment, accountability, and oversight. The ultimate victims are the people who are dependent on them. The public health care should rival the best of private care and provide quality healthcare to its citizens. We request the government to thoroughly probe the incident and ensure all the guilty are punished and we also request both the state and central governments to revamp their respective health policies and increase their health expenditure.