Abdomen operation instead of mouth: Doctors face action

Abdomen operation instead of mouth: Doctors face action

The health department of the Tripura government has served notice on several doctors and other staff of a hospital here after a patient's lower abdomen was opened and the urethra operated upon instead of a mouth biopsy, a minister said Monday.

The incident occurred at a government medical college in the state capital recently. Four doctors and three other medical staff have received notice in the matter, state Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty said. 

"The health department has served show-cause notices to four doctors and three health staff. After getting the replies to the notices, the government will take stern action against the erring medical personnel," Chakraborty told the Tripura assembly.

"The committee headed by a director in the health department found negligence by the medical team which conducted the erroneous operation," the minister said. 

The minister said the error occurred as the medical college had another patient by the same name, who was admitted with urethra-related problems.

The issue rocked the ongoing monsoon session of the Tripura assembly. Pressure from civil society groups has forced the government to probe the matter. 

Following the advice of senior doctors, Ratan Das, 53, a small-time trader from southern Tripura, was admitted to the Gobinda Ballav Pant Medical College and Hospital earlier this month. He was to undergo a biopsy of his mouth. But doctors conducted surgery on his lower abdomen and urethra instead.

Another patient by the same name, Ratan Das, 45, with abdomen and urethra-related problems was also admitted to the hospital, the minister said.Trader Ratan Das's wife Jhulan filed a complaint with the police, health minister and other authorities, seeking action against the medical staff responsible for the error. The East Kotwali police is probing the matter.

Cutting across party lines, legislators belonging to both the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress have been demanding strict action against the negligent medical staff, so that such incidents do not happen again.