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NHRC notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar over reported botched up cataract surgeries

New Delhi (Global News) The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that the eyes of six patients had to be removed at Shrikrishna Medical College & Hospital, SKMCH due to botched up cataract surgeries at Muzaffarpur Eye Hospital, Bihar on 22nd November, 2021. The doctors may require removing the eyes of about a dozen more patients due to infections after the surgery. Reportedly, as per medical protocol, a doctor could conduct upto 12 surgeries, but in this case, the doctor conducted surgery on 65 patients.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of human rights violation. Conducting eye surgeries in such a reckless manner, violating norms of the medical protocols at a government hospital, is a serious matter of concern.

Accordingly, it has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar calling for a detailed report in the matter. The report is expected to inform about the exact number of patients, who have lost their eyes, status of the medical treatment being provided to them and the relief provided by the State Government, including action against the responsible officers/doctors. The response is expected within 4 weeks.

According to the media report, carried on 1st December, 2021, in most of the cases, the cornea of the patients is badly damaged and there are chances that the infection could reach their brains. The condition of six patients is very serious. The hospital authorities tried to hush up the matter and did not inform about it to the district administration or the State health department till an enquiry was conducted. The authorities have, reportedly, stopped activities in the Muzaffarpur Eye Hospital and a team of the doctors, headed by ACMO is conducting investigation in the matter.