Friday, December 04, 2015

Dozens lose vision in botched up operations during eye surgery camps: Pathetic state of healthcare in India

*16 suffer loss of vision in Chandigarh
*5 suffer vision loss in Guwahati
*43 lose eyesight in Barwani in Madhya Pradesh

These three incidents have occurred in the last couple of days in India. Patients go to these camps for cataract surgery, hoping to have their vision cleared.

Instead, their vision is lost, due to lack of post-operation care and indifference of authorities. In fact, it clearly shows the dismal state of health care in government-run camps in India.

The latest incident has occurred in Barwani in Central India. As many as 43 persons, many of them women, lost their eyesight completely. It is a real tragedy for these victims. For, most of them, now face livelihood issues.

Absolute apathy, lack of post-operation care in such camps where mass surgeries are held. Doctors come at camp, operate and leave. If patients have complaints, none bothered. Within days, infection spreads and vision is nearly lost.

Money can't compensate loss of vision

"Ankh hi chahiye, muaawza nahi". 'I want my vision back, no other compensation would do", says a woman. "Hubby dead, how will I raise kids", she said as it is she who works to eke out living for her family.

Yet another sad aspect is that mostly poor are affected and hence there is no major outcry. Departmental action hardly improves the situation. A few suspensions here and there--that's the governments' style to tackle these botched up surgeries.

Committees, reports, recommendations but NO CHANGE

However, lack of sanitation and issue of infections at these camps, don't get priority. Committees are formed and asked to give reports. After months, when reports are prepared, the recommendations are forwarded but there is again, no action, no change on the ground.

Isn't this a tragedy that this is the situation of healthcare, 68 years after independence?