Unnao: The unfortunate condition of government health centres could not be more evident than with an incident on Monday, where 32 patients underwent cataract surgery under a torch light, for the want of electricity at the community health centre.
While not much has been done for provision of electricity at the centre, doctors have been held responsible for performing the operations during the outage It is reported that district administration has suspended the chief medical officer (CMO) for authorising the said operations as violation of norms and the PHC superintendent Dinesh Dass has now been suspended for negligence.
According to a set visuals that went viral on social media, 32 cataract operations were done at the CHC in Nawabganj in torch light as there was no electricity or power back-up there.
Dr Nutan Saxena, who carried out the free-of-cost surgeries along with two others, works with an NGO, Jagdamba Sewa Samiti, which got the patients from Kanpur reports HT. The said NGO bring in people here who need surgeries and also arrange for cataract surgeons, with the government providing the infrastructure. For surgeries conducted in Mondays the NGO was to be paid Rs 1,000 per patient, officials said.
As the news got viral, a team of doctors was examining the patients on Tuesday evening after they were hurriedly sent off in the morning when they complained of itching.
“Most of us have severe itching in the eyes. It is unbearable and doctors are not attending to us,” Rajaram, who is from Mahatawan, told HT. The Nawabganj health centre had a generator for power backup but the NGO did not use it as it would have to buy diesel to operate it, villagers further told the daily.
The CMO earlier said the acting district magistrate has ordered a probe into the matter and the organisation entrusted with the task could be blacklisted, if found guilty.
“Taking a serious note of the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government acted promptly and suspended CMO Rajendra Prasad,” Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh told.
He said incharge of the community health centre (CHC) at Nawabganj has also been removed.
A report has been sought by the state health department regarding the entire episode.
“This is height of negligence. No one will be spared,” Unnao district magistrate Ravi Kumar N said.
Meanwhile, some relatives of the patients complained that they were not provided with any beds after the procedure, and that they were made to lie down on floors despite extreme cold weather conditions.
Uttar Pradesh has attracted bad press for a series of ‘medical disasters’ in the recent past, with the death of more than 60 children, mostly infants, at a government hospital in Gorakhpur being the latest case in point.
A hospital in Farukhabad recorded 49 deaths — 30 in neo-natal ICU and 19 during delivery — between July 20 and August 21 this year, reportedly due to a lack of oxygen supply.