NHRC Takes Cognisance of Cataract Surgeries Conducted Under Torchlight in UP

Family members have alleged that the undertrials are being denied adequate food and medical treatment. Credit: PTI

Credit: PTI

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 today said the contents of the media reports reveal negligence on the part of doctors and are a sad commentary on the status of infrastructure facilities available in the hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, particularly the non-availability of backup power supply in operation theatres.

The Commission has issued a notice to UP 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 December 25 at 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 yesterday suspended the chief medical officer after reports surfaced that 32 cataract patients were operated upon in 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.