Murder at health camp, say blinded patients
Raipur: "It is like someone called me for sweets and then engineered a cold-blooded murder," 47-year-old Lalmati said at Chhattisgarh's largest government hospital here.
She was referring to a botched cataract surgery at a government health camp recently that has left her blind in one eye.
A resident of Durg district's Dalli-Rajhara area, Lalmati was among the 325 people persuaded by local authorities to attend the camp at Balod, 120 km from capital Raipur, and make it a highly successful. The weeklong event concluded Sep 30.
"I lost sight in my left eye minutes after the surgery," 59-year-old Bhaiyalal Dheemar from Shikaripara in Balod said.
"I told doctors to be careful because I have to take care of my wife, who is ailing for five years, and my son and daughter-in-law do not live with me, but they kept telling me not to worry," he said.
"Why have they blinded me? I need a reply," he demanded in anger.
So far 45 persons, mostly the elderly one the poor, have lost sight after being operated on by government doctors. Six men and five women were admitted in Raipur while others were taken to government hospitals in Durg and other places.
"I had cataract in both my eyes. One eye was operated upon and I was told the second would be operated a few months later. After the operation, there was swelling within hours and pus a day later," Lalmati said.
"I lost my eyesight completely," she rued. "The doctors who are caring for me in Raipur say there is no chance of regaining sight as there were blunders at the health camp."
She is among the 11 persons shifted Oct 13 to Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Medical College and Hospital here -- after families of patients and locals protested for a week seeking immediate medical attention for the affected.
"My wife has poor vision for about two years and I had no money to get her operated upon at a private hospital due to high medical costs," Lalmati's husband Gorakhnath said.
"I was really thrilled to hear that the government would be holding a weeklong camp Sep 30, but the operation turned my family life to hell overnight: she lost sight from one of the better eyes," Gorakhnath said.