Badal orders probe into eye camp tragedy

Badal orders probe into eye camp tragedy

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today ordered a high level probe into an NGO sponsored medical camp in Gurdaspur district in which 60 people lost their eyesight.

Badal has asked Principal Secretary Health Vinnie Mahajan to personally conduct an inquiry into all the aspects of this unfortunate incident, an official spokesman said here.

He has also directed Mahajan to rush to the site for an on spot assessment of the tragedy and for supervising and expediting relief to the victims and their families.
The Chief Minister has also announced an interim relief of Rs 1 lakh to each of the affected families, whose members have lost eyesight in the tragedy.

Announcing free medical treatment for all the victims of the tragedy, Badal has directed that all the patients should be re-examined for fresh treatment at the government level.

Reports from Amritsar had said yesterday that at least 60 persons lost their eyesight after an operation at an eye camp organised by an NGO in Gurdaspur district.

While 16 persons belonged to villages of Amritsar the rest were from Gurdaspur district. All of them were admitted in city ENT hospitals of Amritsar and Gursdaspur.
Civil Surgeon Amritsar, Rajiv Bhalla, had said all the patients were operated at an eye camp in Ghuman village of Gurdaspur district around ten days ago.

The incident emerged when all the 16 patients, who belonged to Amritsar, approached Deputy Commissioner Bhagat to lodge a complaint against the NGO and doctors concerned.

The cataract surgery in the eye camp was performed under "severe unhygienic condition" whereupon eyes of all the 60 patients were found damaged permanently, Bhalla had said.

Before organising the eye camp, mandatory permission was required from the district Administration and Civil Surgeons of Gurdaspur and Amritsar but all the norms were not followed, he had said.

All the affected patients were above the age of 60 with poor economical condition.

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