Botched-up eye surgeries: Congress corporator seeks Rs 20 Lakh relief for victims

Mumbai: The Congress corporator and the leader of the Opposition, Ravi Raja has sought `20 lakh compensation for each of the seven patients, who were victims of botched-up eye surgeries at the Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Care Centre, Jogeshwari, in the first week of January. Five patients lost their sight, while two were partially blinded due to the negligence of the doctors and the hospital staff.

“This incident occurred due to the negligence of the civic administration and the hospital staff. The corporation should bear the onus and compensate the victims accordingly,” Raja said. He met the Municipal Commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, earlier this week to discuss the issue of compensation.

A preliminary inquiry by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) into the incident revealed, the equipment used in the surgeries was not sterilised and the unhygienic condition in the operation theatre was one of the major reasons for the tragedy. Idzes Kundan, the additional municipal commissioner (health), had said the internal committee report found the surgical scope (a probe), was re-used on other patients without sterilising.

After the inquiry report, the medical superintendent, Dr HS Bhave, was transferred to Maa Maternity Hospital, Chembur, and the services of the honorary operating surgeon, Dr Arun Chaudhary, were terminated. The inquiry committee comprised the heads of the department of the KEM and Cooper hospitals. The incident occurred on January 3, following which, the patients were brought to the KEM hospital on January 5.

The issue was also discussed in the standing committee of the BMC last week, by the BJP corporator, Abhijeet Samant. Earlier, a report by the KEM hospital had cited the use of ward boys to assist in surgery, the unhygienic condition of the operation theatres and the use of disinfectants which were not on the BMC’s scheduled list, as the major reasons for the tragedy.

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