Rs 3L for those who lost sight, KISF cover for doctors

Resident doctors and postgraduate medical students protest outside the OPD of Victoria Hospital on Monday. DH PHOTO/S K DINESH

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to each of the 13 people who lost eyesight in botched cataract surgeries at the Minto Ophthalmic Hospital last July. 

Medical Education Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan made the announcement on Monday after meeting the authorities of the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), which runs Minto hospital. 

Ashwath Narayan told reporters after the meeting: “The reason behind the ongoing protest of resident doctors in BMCRI hospitals was the attack on a doctor by the activists of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike. The reason for the attack was that no compensation was paid to people who lost eyesight at Minto hospital.” 

The minister said the government was addressing both the concerns. “We have decided to immediately release ex gratia to the victims of the botched surgeries and are also taking criminal action against the company which supplied the eye drops. We will also blacklist it.” 

In July, more than 24 patients underwent cataract surgeries at the hospital. Ten of them ended up losing eyesight while the rest faced other problems. An inquiry committee formed by the Department of Medical Education concluded that the root cause of the botched surgeries was a faulty eye drop supplied by a company. 

Ashwath Narayan said that the officials concerned had been instructed to get the details of the patients who lost eyesight and give them the cheques. The remaining patients will get further treatment, he added. 

As for the doctors’ demand for adequate security, the minister announced that personnel from the Karnataka Industrial Security Force (KISF) would guard all the 17 hospitals run by it round the clock. 

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