Medical negligence – a fallout of meeting government’s sterilisation targets – is suspected to be behind the deaths of ten women in Chhattisgarh. The woman had undergone tubectomy operations at a free camp organised by the government on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Chief Minister Raman Singh to ensure a thorough probe into the incident.
The state health department has also formed a three-member panel to inquire into the tragedy even as four health officials, including chief medical health officer of Bilaspur, have been suspended by the state government. The police have registered FIR against them.
The sterilisation camp was held in the home district of state Health Minister Amar Agarwal on Saturday. Organised under the family planning programme and as part of efforts to ensure maximum participation, each woman undergoing operation was to get Rs. 1400 and the health worker bringing them to the camp was to get Rs. 200 per case.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has expressed anguish over the incident. He visited the victims who are undergoing treatment at the Apollo hospital.
Addressing the media, the Chhattisgarh CM said, “The culprit doctor has been suspended and a case of criminal offence has been filed against him.”
The Health Department has decided to provide Rs. 4 Lakh to deceased women’s family and medical assistance along with Rs. 50,000 to all patients.
Bilsapur Collector Sonmani Vora confirmed that CM Raman Singh has ordered a probe into the unfortunate incident.
At least 85 women were operated upon at the government-run Nemi Chand hospital in the Pendari area of Bilaspur as part of a family planning camp. Many of them later started complaining of pain and fever.
“Around 55 women are in trouble. The CM has also ordered inquiry, one medical team has departed from Raipur, and the medical director is also coming. According to my information total 85 operations were conducted, and further probe will be carried based on the investigation report,” Vora said.
Health officials have denied any negligence. Amar Singh, Deputy Director, Health, said preliminary examinations have suggested hypovolemic shock – rapid fluid loss after surgery that results in multi-organ failure – or a septic infection may be the cause of death.
Reacting to the incident, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi conveyed their condolences to family members of those who lost their near ones and prayed for recovery of those undergoing treatment.
Rahul demanded Chhattisgarh government to take strict action against guilty and ensure best possible treatment for those in critical condition.
Congress leader and party general secretary Digvijay Singh demanded strict action against negligent officers. Singh targeted state Health Minister Agarwal and demanded his resignation.