Uttar Pradesh: 32 Cataract Surgeries Conducted Under Torchlight in Unnao, Probe Ordered

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Uttar Pradesh: At least 32 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao were operated for cataract at a government hospital under torchlight on Monday night. The district administration on Tuesday suspended the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) after reports surfaced that 32 cataract patients were operated upon in torchlight for want of steady electricity supply at a state-run facility in Uttar Pradesh.

The surgeries were conducted under the light of two torches at the primary healthcare centre (PHC) in Nawabganj, which like many rural areas of Uttar Pradesh gets electricity for only 12 hours a day. The act of doing something through reasoning this, authorities transferred the district’s top health official and suspended a doctor for negligence and violation of norms.

As per reports, this was done as there was no electricity or power back-up there. Some relatives of the patients complained that they were not provided with any beds after the procedure, and that they were made to lie on floors despite extremely cold weather conditions. “Taking a serious note of the matter, the Uttar Pradesh government acted promptly and suspended CMO Rajendra Prasad,” Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh told PTI.

A video of the surgeries, shot on a mobile phone, shows the operation theatre had no electricity, according to the Hindustan Times. District authorities have started investigating why the doctors went ahead with surgeries when the centre had no electricity or basic facilities.

“I asked the doctors why they operated with just torchlight,” said Rajendra Prasad, the suspended Chief Medical Officer of Unnao. “They said the power went out briefly, and that they had arranged for a generator,” Prasad said the doctors told him that they only operated in torchlight for a little while.

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