New Delhi: Setting aside the contention of the Government of Telangana, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has held that the liability to pay relief in a case of botched up eye surgery at a Government hospital lie with the State Government and not the drug manufacturer. Accordingly, it has recommended that the State Government pay Rs. one lakh each to 6 out of 13 victims whose eyesight could not be recovered even after further treatment. The Chief Secretary, Government of Telangana has been directed to submit the compliance report along with proof of payment within six weeks.
The incident of botched up eye surgery happened at the government-run Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, at Mehdipatnam in Hyderabad on the 4th July, 2016 following which, the Commission had registered a case in the matter.
Post Commission’s notices to the concerned government authorities, enquires were conducted and it was found that after the surgery, the victim patients were given Compound Sodium Lactate IP 500 ml. Thereafter, 13 patients got infected with ‘Klebsiella bacteria’. They were treated with intra-vitriol antibiotic but six of them could not recover though they are being provided with appropriate treatment as out-patients on regular basis. Out of 7 sealed bottles of Compound Sodium Lactate IP taken from the stock of the hospital, 2 showed the positive culture of ‘Klebsiella bacteria’, which was responsible for the infection.
Earlier, the Commission in its show cause notice to the State Government had observed that the case of violation of human rights is made out as 6 persons had lost their eyesight in the incident. Therefore, they needed to be compensated and the State is liable to pay it. In response, the State Government, denying its liability, said that a case no. 158/16 was registered under section 338 IPC against the manufacturer of the drugs and its MD and, if the manufacturer is found guilty by the court, he shall pay the monetary relief to the affected patients.
The Commission observed that the State has not denied the allegations that 13 people suffered due to bacterial infection post surgery at the hospital and 6 of them had lost their eyesight; a charge sheet had been submitted in a court. Therefore, the victims deserved to be given monetary relief by the State Government.