MMCH cataract operation fiasco
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 7: The issue of loss of eye sight by five patients after their cataract operation at Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital in Guwahati on November 27 this year rocked the Assam Assembly today when AGPLP Leader Phani Bhushan Choudhury raised it in the House. The House was, however, surprised when State Health Minister Dr. zrul Islam stopped short of announcing the amount of compensation to be paid to the five ill-fated patients.
Nine of the 14 patients who underwent cataract operation on November 27, 2015 at the MMCH had infection problems, and the infection of five of them was very serious. All the nine patients with eye infection were sent to Sankardeva Nethralaya where it was confirmed that the five of the nine have lost their eye sight.
The AGP MLA said: “Where else poor people of the State will go if this is the situation in our government hospitals? Since the patients have lost their eye sights under the treatment in a Government hospital, it’s the government that has to own the responsibility.” On inquiry into the incident, Choudhury questioned: “What about the inquiry announced by the government soon after the incident? I doubt the operation theatres could be infected ones. The operation theatres need to be sterilized from time to time so as to avoid such incidents of infection. I doubt if there’s regular sterilization of the operation theatres in the MMCH.”
Choudhury alleged that most of the ICUs in the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital are infected. “The doctor whose callousness has led to the loss of eye sights of the patients should be punished, and the victim patients should be compensated adequately.”
In his reply, State Health Minister Dr. zrul Islam admitted the loss of eye sights by five patients. Though he announced compensation for the five patients, but stopped short to making the amounts to be received by each of the five victims public. “The MD of the tiol Health Mission (NHM) and the Head of GMCH Eye Department have been asked to conduct an inquiry into the incident and report the findings to the government within seven days,” the minister said.
The Opposition MLAs then put pressure on the minister to make the amount of compensation public, but to no avail. The minister refused to make the amount public for reasons best known to him.