The Telangana government will file a criminal case against the surgeon responsible for the Ibrahimpatnam sterilisation incident in which four women died in the last week of August. It will also take disciplinary action against 12 other staff members.
The strict action has been initiated on the basis of the report submitted by the committee headed by Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao that was tasked to inquire into the incident.
SAM Rizvi, secretary in the Health Department, has directed Rao to file a criminal case against Dr Joel Sunil Kumar, the Double Puncture Laparoscopy (DPL) surgeon.
On 25 August, 34 women underwent DPL, a common sterilisation method, at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Ibrahimpatnam in Ranga Reddy district.
Within a few days, four women died, while seven suffered complications. Later, all 30 surviving women were admitted at two hospitals in Hyderabad and kept under observation.
A preliminary enquiry had revealed that all four women died due to infections.
The 12 to be penalised
The government also announced disciplinary action against 12 other staff members of the Health Department.
They are Ibrahimpatnam Hospital DPL Camp Officer Dr Naga Jyothi, Community Health Centre (CHC) Deputy Civil Surgeon Dr Geetha, CHC Head Nurse Chandrakala, Madugul Primary Health Centre (PHC) Medical Officer Dr Srinivas, Supervisors Alivelu and Mangamma, Manchal PHC Medical Officer Dr Kiran, Supervisor Jayalatha, Dandamilaram PHC medical officer Dr Poonam and Supervisor Janakamma.
District Coordinator of Hospital Services (DCHS) of Ranga Reddy district Jhansi Lakshmi has been transferred and directed to report at Shad Nagar Hospital. And Ibrahimpatnam Hospital Superintendent Dr Sridhar has already been suspended.
Kondapur Area Hospital Superintendent Dr Varadachari has been given additional charge as Ranga Reddy DCHS.
‘Make report public’
Reacting to the disciplinary action against the hospital staff and mid-level officials, Dr K Mahesh Kumar, president of Healthcare Reforms Doctors Association, said that the committee’s report should be made public.
“Based on the inquiry report they have taken the action against these medical staff. Where is the report? The Health Department should put out the report in public. Also, only mid-level health officials have been held responsible. Why not the Director of Public Health, who is also responsible for this incident? To put the health system on track, whole administration should be changed,” Dr Mahesh Kumar told South First.
His demand was reiterated by Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad GDA Dr M Srinivas.
“When regular government doctors provide service at the grassroots level, the government gives credit to the Director of Medical Education (DME) and Director of Public Health. Then why shouldn’t they take the blame in this situation? All of us government doctors demand that the DME and DPHs should be removed from their posts and the Medical and Health Department be cleansed,” Dr Srinivas told South First.
Guidelines for DPL Surgery
Based on the report given by the committee, the government has issued guidelines regarding the management of family planning operations. All teaching hospitals, Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad (TVVP) hospitals and PHCs have to comply with these:
- Family planning operations be done as part of hospital services.
- Operations to be done on the fixed day. Mandatory observation should be done for 24 hours after the operation.
- According to a pre-determined calendar, the operatives can come on any day of their choice.
- Supervisor of the concerned hospital should visit discharged patients once in 24 hours and twice in a week to check their health condition.
- The concerned PHC medical officer should also examine all operated persons under their jurisdiction within two days. Patients should be monitored by the concerned supervisor or medical officer.
- Hospital superintendent, surgeon, DPL camp officer should ensure compliance of pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative standards.
- Training classes should be conducted from time to time for the supervisors.
- Special system should be set up to evaluate the skill of DPL surgeons once a year.
- State-level joint director in the commissioner’s office should conduct a review on sterilisation with the management officers, surgeons and other staff once in three months.
- No more than 30 operations should be performed in one hospital in a day.
- The superintendents who are chairpersons of the Infection Control Committee in the respective hospitals should review the prevention and control of infection every Monday.
- Infection control officers and nurses in teaching hospitals and TVVP hospitals should be trained in new methods of infection-control from time to time at NIMS, Hyderabad.
- DME and TVVP commissioner should ensure that infection-prevention standards are followed, especially in operation theatres and ICUs.