NHRC issues notice to Uttar Pradesh chief secy over reports of cataract patients being treated under torchlight

Lucknow: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports stating that 32 cataract patients were operated upon under torchlight at a primary health centre in Unnao.

An official statement released by the rights body on Wednesday said the contents of the media reports reveal negligence on part of doctors and are a sad commentary on the status of infrastructure facilities available in the hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, particularly non-availability of backup power supply in operation theatres.

 NHRC issues notice to Uttar Pradesh chief secy over reports of cataract patients being treated under torchlight

Representational image. Reuters

The commission has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh chief secretary, asking him to furnish information about the incident, within two weeks.

The information sought include details of 32 persons (or the exact number) like the names, addresses and phone numbers of those operated on 25 December at the primary health centre, Nawabganj in Unnao.

The NHRC also wanted to know whether the operated persons were able to see clearly after the procedure; why there was no backup power supply in the hospital, especially in the operation theatre; what action was taken against the doctors and hospital management for performing cataract operations in torchlight; have the doctors been performing operations in such a manner earlier; and finally, in case of power break down in the hospital, what alternative source of light is used by the facility.

The Unnao district administration had on Tuesday suspended the Chief Medical Officer(CMO) after reports surfaced that 32 cataract patients were operated under torchlight for want of steady electricity supply at the state-run facility there.

According to the media reports, some relatives of the patients also complained that they were not provided with any beds after the procedure and that they were made to lie down on floors despite extremely cold weather conditions.

Updated Date: Dec 27, 2017 22:25:49 IST