C`garh Govt asked to pay Rs 50K to patients who lost eyesight after surgery

National Human Rights Commission today directed Chhattisgarh Government to pay Rs 50,000 each to 16 people who lost their eyesight after cataract surgery at a Community Health Centre and also initiate criminal proceedings against the guilty.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 18, 2014, 16:30 PM IST

New Delhi: National Human Rights Commission today directed Chhattisgarh Government to pay Rs 50,000 each to 16 people who lost their eyesight after cataract surgery at a Community Health Centre and also initiate criminal proceedings against the guilty.

The Commission has recommended that the Chhattisgarh Government pay Rs 50,000 each to the 16 patients in addition to a similar amount already paid by the government to them for losing their eyesight in cataract surgery at the Community Health Centre, Bagbehra, Dhamtari, the NHRC statement said today.

The Chief Secretary of the state has been asked to submit a compliance report along with the proof of payment within eight weeks and also a status report on the disciplinary proceedings initiated against the three doctors who conducted the cataract surgery on the patients.

The Commission has observed that the report from the state government revealed that substandard medicines were administered to the patients. Therefore, it asked the state government to conduct a detailed inquiry in this regard and initiate criminal action to prosecute the guilty persons.

The Commission had taken cognisance of the issue on December 31, 2012 on the basis of a media report wherein it was reported that the patients had lost their eyesight due to the negligence of the doctors while carrying out cataract surgery in a camp at Bagbehra.

In response to the notices of the Commission, the Government of Chhattisgarh, through its Health and Family Welfare Department confirmed that 16 patients had lost their eyesight and they were paid Rs 50,000 each from the Chief Minister`s Relief Fund.

"One Surgeon, two Eye Assistant Officers and two Staff Nurse have been suspended for negligence and departmental proceedings were initiated against them. Five medicines used during the operation were found below standard, therefore, suppliers and manufacturers of these medicines were banned for government supply," the statement said.

The Commission held that the monetary relief given by the State Government was inadequate. Therefore, it recommended an additional compensation of Rs 50,000 each.