Chhattisgarh sterilisation tragedy: Besides medical negligence, guidelines for operations also violated

These women had undergone operation at a family planning camp organized by the state government in Bilaspur on Saturday.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Bilaspur | Updated: November 12, 2014 9:11 am
A woman being taken to hospital on Monday. (Source: Express photo) A woman being taken to hospital on Monday. (Source: Express photo)

As the death toll rose to 12 on Tuesday, three days after the sterilisation camp organised by the state government in Takhatpur block of Bilaspur district on Saturday, enquiries revealed that besides medical negligence, guidelines and procedures outlined for such operations were also seemingly violated.

Of the 83 women who underwent laparoscopic tubectomies, over 50 are still in hospital. Twenty-five of them are reported to be critical.
According to the central government’s guidelines, a medical team cannot conduct more than 30 laparoscopic tubectomies in a day, with three separate laparoscopes — that means not more than 10 tubectomies with a single instrument, as each instrument needs to be properly sterilised after every operation.

The guidelines state that if there are additional surgeons, instruments and supplies, the number of operations per team can be increased, but in no case should it exceed 50. Even then, it puts a cap of 10 operations by a single surgeon with a single instrument.

The hospital where camp was held has been sealed The hospital where camp was held has been sealed

But in Bilaspur, just one doctor, Dr R K Gupta, conducted 83 operations with one instrument in five hours — less than four minutes per operation. Dr Gupta is considered an expert in such cases, and was awarded by Chief Minister Raman Singh on January 26 this year for conducting 50,000 laparoscopic tubectomies.

The government’s guidelines also state that all sterilisation camps must be organised only at “established healthcare facilities” recognised by the Government of India. However, the Bilaspur operations were conducted at a private charitable hospital in Pendri village which has remained closed, almost abandoned, for about a year now.

A health worker who was present at the camp said one room of the hospital was opened, and all the women were made to lie down on the floor for the tubectomies. Though the government claimed to have sealed the hospital yesterday, many people visited it today.

While State Health Minister Amar Agarwal denied pressure to meet targets set under the central government’s family planning scheme, health officials pointed at the data to indicate that they face routine pressure to hurriedly meet the targets.

According to the available records, this was not the first time that so many tubectomies were conducted in a single day. Officers of the family planning department noted that there has not been a single instance in the last several years when the number of laparoscopic tubectomies conducted at a camp by a doctor in a day was less than the prescribed ten. “This figure often crosses 100,” said an official.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Tuesday and is learnt to have taken strong exception to the incident. “The PM has asked Singh to ensure a thorough investigation & action in the entire issue,” the PMO tweeted.

Significantly, until Modi’s call, the government was reluctant to even admit negligence in the case. Bilaspur CMO R K Bhange had defended Gupta yesterday, saying he is a “senior doctor”. Responding to the demand for the Health Minister’s removal, the Chief Minister had said: “Operations are conducted by doctors, not ministers.”

The state government’s tone seemed to have changed today. Singh suspended Dr Gupta, Block Medical Officer of Takhatpur Dr Pramod Tiwari, Bilaspur CMO R K Bhange and State Coordinator of Family Planning Programme K C Uraon, and ordered an FIR against them. Director, Health Services, Dr Kamalpreet Singh has also been transferred.

While the government announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of the dead yesterday, Singh today raised it to Rs 4 lakh.

In New Delhi, sources in AIIMS confirmed that they had received orders from the Union Health Ministry to send a team of four doctors to Chhattisgarh to attend to the women in hospital. “A multi-disciplinary team of four doctors, including surgeons, critical care specialists and gynecologists, will be travelling to Chhattisgarh tomorrow morning,” said a senior AIIMS official.

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  1. B
    Bqwas
    Nov 13, 2014 at 4:26 am
    would you share same thought in the spirit you said, if any one of them hailed from your family.
    Reply
    1. A
      ajit
      Nov 13, 2014 at 2:29 am
      SUBJECT : Chhattisgarhs KILLER doctor held, was awarded for record 50,000surgeries .##########################ALL INDIAN DOCTORS AND SURGEONS BE WARNED- ONE DAYYOU WILL BE HUNG FOR MANSLAUGHER AND YOUR LIFE WILL BE RUINED .The comment I made below, has been SPAMMED by every Indianand foreign media – all ZIONIST foreign EVILPHARMA SUPARI fed PRESSUTES and BENAMI owned media .Despite a SUPREMECOURT order by a bench of Justices RM Lodha and AR Dave NOT to use vulnerable Indiansas LAB RATS / GUINEA PIGS for CHEAPUNTESTED GENERIC MEDICINES , this evil continues ..Such CHEAP GENERIC MEDICINES were propagated by AAMIR KHANvia SATYAMEVA JAYATE season one, and even good state governments like Jayalalitaafell prey .Defamation case was slapped on a blogger Capt Ajit Vadakayilfor pointing out that poor vulnerable Indians must NOT be used as lab rats , and that bed medicines are expensive because they have been testedSAFE ..The entire sold out to EVIL PHARMA media are doing a propaa blitzkrieg that thesurgeon RK Gupta who has done more than ONE LAKH such surgeries is a KILLER .Exactly low how cricketer SREESHANT was declared a TERRORISTusing MCOCA and black bagged and black balled - for being responsible for all evils in BCCI/IPL .The ZIONIST EVIL PHARMA SUPARI FED PRESSUTES blame thesurgeons competence, RUSTY surgical instruments, dirty clinic –every thingexcept the real cause of CHEAP UNTESTED GENERIC MEDICINES .WHY WERE VULNERABLE TRIBAL WOMEN LURED INTO SURGERY WITH1400 RUPEES ? the answer is that theydo NOT have side effects of any other drugs in their bodies and brain .VICTIMS CLEARLY DISPLA TOXIC SHOCK INFLICTED BY UNTESTEDTOXIC MEDICINES .WE INDIANS NARENDRA MODI MUST IMMEDIATELY DO A THOROUGHINQUIRY .Punch into Google search -. GUINEA PIGS FOR UNTESTED MEDICINES, FOREIGNPHARMA FUNDED NGOs VADAKAYIL .Capt ajit vadakayil..
      Reply
      1. A
        ajit
        Nov 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm
        SUBJECT : VULNERABLE INDIANWOMEN BEING USED AS GUINEA PIGS – CHATTISGARH STERILISATION WOMEN DEATHS .##########################################DESPITE A SUPREME COURT ORDER NOT TO USE INDIANS AS LAB RATSAND GUINEA PIGS FOR CHEAP UNTESTED GENERIC MEDICINES , THE CHATTISGARH GOVT HASBEEN USING SUCH MEDICINES .On 3rd Jan 2013 Supreme Court , slammed the Centre for its failure to stopillegal clinical trials of untested drugs by multinational companies, sayingthe drug trials are creating HAVOC inthe country and causing death of many citizens .A bench of justices RM Lodha and AR Dave RULED that allclinical trials will be done under the supervision of the health secretary atthe Centre. QUOTE You have to protecthealth of citizens of the country. It is your obligation. Deaths must be arrestedand illegal trials must be sta UNQUOTE - the bench said, asking thegovernment to handle the menace on an urgent basis .The apex court said that the government has gone into deepslumber on the issue and has failed toput in place proper mechanisms to stop rackets of multinational companies, which areconducting illegal clinical trials . SUCH CHEAP UNTESTEDGENERIC MEDICINES WERE PROPAGATED BY ZIONIST SPONSORED TV PROGRAMME SATYAMEVA JAYATE SEASON 1 .DEFAMATION CASE BY CYBER CELL POLICE WAS SLAPPED AGAINST ABLOGGER NAMED CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL , BYAAMIR KHAN FOR POINTING THIS OUT .THE ENTIRE WESTERN MEDIA IS BLAMING THE STERILISATION DOCTORAS BEING UNSKILLED , FOR USING RUSTY INSTRUMENTS AND A DIRTY UNHUGENIC CLINIC .THIS IS A LIE .THE DOCTOR RK GUPTA IS SKILLED AND ONE LAKH CASES EXPERIENCED .VICTIMS CLEARLY DISPLA TOXIC SHOCK INFLICTED BY UNTESTEDTOXIC MEDICINES .THESE WOMEN USED AS GUINEA PIGS WERE GIVEN 1400 RUPEES TO BELAB RATS .NARENDRA MODI MUST IMMEDIATELY DO A THOROUGH INQUIRY .Punch into Google search -. GUINEA PIGS FORUNTESTED MEDICINES, FOREIGN PHARMA FUNDED NGOs VADAKAYIL .Capt ajit vadakayil..----
        Reply
        1. A
          Andy Mills
          Nov 12, 2014 at 6:40 am
          Why are you so surprised by this silence? They are women and this happenedin India, situation normaldia earns its status as the fourth most dangerous country in the world inwhich to be a woman well. Truly sad.
          Reply
          1. A
            anoop
            Nov 12, 2014 at 4:16 am
            How can you call it shallow reporting. Express has been reporting this since 2 days on front page.
            Reply
            1. P
              point
              Nov 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm
              ALL THESE YEARS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VOTING FOR CASTE AND RELIGION. NOW A OVERHAUL IS BEING TRIED. LAST 67 YEARS-NOTHING HAPPENED IN REAL SENSE. CONG MAY CLAIM YOU HAVE MOVED FROM BULLOCK CART TO BIKES- BUT WE ARE WAY BEHIND OTHER COUNTRIES IN CORRUPTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH. NOW THE GOVT IS NOT THE SAME. NO ONE WOULD HAVE IMAGINED A DRASTIC BILL ON MOTOR VEHICLES ACT AN YEAR AGO. NO ONE IMAGINED ELECTRICITY CAN BE DELIVERED 24/7 IN INDIA. THEY HAVE STARTED PLANNING. I AM CONFIDENT PRESENT GOVT WILL DELIVER IN TIME BOUND WAY.
              Reply
              1. P
                point
                Nov 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm
                EVERYTHING SHOULD GO TOGETHER. YOU CAN'T SAY I WON'T BUILD UNIVERSITIES TILL EVERYONE FINISHES PRIMARY. YOU NEED ALL LEVELS TO WORK AT THE SAME TIME. RE THIS INCIDENT - LOT OF LESSONS WILL BE LEARNT. THIS IS BIGGEST FIASCO WHICH NO GOVT CAN AFFORD. IT SHOULD BE USED TO CHANGE AND IMPLEMENT PROPER GUIDELINES FOR HEALTH SECTOR AS A W JUST LIKE MOTOR VEHICLES ACT PROPOSED BECAUSE OF MUNDE'S DEATH.
                Reply
                1. B
                  bibhu
                  Nov 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm
                  This is so unfortunate. Not just strict action against authorities but some efforts must be put to bring some systemic changes in this so that it won't be repeated anywhere in the country. I was appalled to see women leaving hospitals the same day in cycle trolley to home during one of my field travel in eastern Uttar Pradesh districts. When I discussed the same with the doctors in camp/hospital the response was there are not enough beds. May be this is the case in rural areas in most of the states. Can't they arrange temporary shelters for 1-2 days whenever they organize such camps. We must remember that in a country like ours, those women who opt for sterilization are doing a great service for the nation. Shouldn't we reciprocate to it and extend basic amenities to them?
                  Reply
                  1. d
                    d41
                    Nov 14, 2014 at 1:43 pm
                    Use of a single instrument did not cause these deaths. While doing so many in one day is still wrong, but that could not have caused death in such large numbers. Most probably something wrong with the medicines given to them.
                    Reply
                    1. F
                      fallowthemoney
                      Nov 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm
                      fallow the money W.H.O. Was the gov. promised incentives to sterilize people? food? money? gas? electricity?
                      Reply
                      1. F
                        fallowthemoney
                        Nov 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm
                        family planning is modern-day eugenics you make me sick i'm puking you sound like a prep school snob you should have been family planned from the beginning
                        Reply
                        1. K
                          Kal_Tak_Indian
                          Nov 13, 2014 at 2:37 am
                          Using poor tribals to meet target of potion control, at the same time free-page to immigrants from outside (read Bangladesh), what a future India is heading to. A rotten bureaucracy combine with political apathy there is no end to woes of native Indians. Will the govt. dare this kind of surgery on Muslims/Christian potion. It is important for gov. to declare statistics of such surgery along religion and region-wise.
                          Reply
                          1. C
                            coolindian
                            Nov 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm
                            shame on indian express for the shallow reporting and giving priority to other silly news. Are these women any lesser citizens? What is they were our sisters or mothers? why is the central government silent?
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              adoctor
                              Nov 22, 2014 at 9:14 am
                              You are a moron
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                adoctor
                                Nov 22, 2014 at 9:14 am
                                You sound like a real 420
                                Reply
                                1. D
                                  Dr.Charanjit Gumtala
                                  Nov 13, 2014 at 12:42 am
                                  India is a for common man and heaven for rich men and politicians who are running Indian administration UK,Canada,France etc every city has free treatment and takes same medicine as taken by PM.They are like 5 star hotels .But in India ,government hospitals are short of doctors,medicines and other things necessary for a good hospital.Poor people go for treatment in government hospitals.Our ministers,MPs,MLAs go to USA for treatment at the cost of money collected from the common man as taxes.We should change the system.SIT should be formed under the hon'ble Supreme court for investigation and punishment for the culprits
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    Ashok
                                    Nov 13, 2014 at 12:34 am
                                    It had to happen . The way tubectomy camps are held in our rural areas it had to happen one day. No anaesthetic no proper sterilisation no proper OT and the volume of work. No wonder it happened. I had seen it coming.
                                    Reply
                                    1. H
                                      Hans
                                      Nov 12, 2014 at 2:35 am
                                      If so many Pt have been affected I dont thing its fault of surgeon, though He could have prevented that by following proper instructions given to them for using proper sterile instruments. I feel that its again the corruption- Using cheap medicine or instruments. Here CG govt is behaving as an illiterate govt. following same old procedure - suspend some officials ( if this was other state even health minister have to leave his post), then declare a new team to investigate the deeds, take 1-3 month to write a fake reports make it look it was some small mistake, govt did everything to get to the roots & will everything to prevent this in future (till then this news will becomes old & boring) & then all again back in action. I think the health dept has big hand in this mishap & sooner or later they will try to cover there mistakes. I think this case should be dealt on Central level...
                                      Reply
                                      1. J
                                        JGE
                                        Nov 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm
                                        This seems to be the Indian version of what is propagated in so many countries and propagated as reproductive health for women. This is the American version: s:www.facebook/Onlin...Can you spot the similarities?
                                        Reply
                                        1. E
                                          Esha
                                          Nov 15, 2014 at 9:18 am
                                          Emphasizing efficiency over quality kills, as demonstrated in the case of the deaths from larcoscopy in Bilaspur. Why were there 83 operations performed in one room in the space-time of five hours? And that too upon bilaspur forest tribal group? Why is the the forest potion trying to be controlled so desperately , while the urban one, responsible for the environmental damage that prompts us to raise arms to forests is allowed to thrive? Stop controlling the wealth of the forests, for among this wealth are its people,and stop trying to control the body from the outside, when the true source of its regulation lies within. Why should we attempt to control the forest from the outsid when we do not inhabit it? How can one man curb another's body when he feels through his own? The protectors of the forest and and of the body's sovereignty, which is one and the same thing, will consume those who attempt to control and hedge it in for their own limited limited view or inclinations.Managing forests? Sterilzing women? Is man living, or harvesting himself, for whom nobody knows, for the eternal god needs no burnt offering. He can only control himself, and for his own good. And then, forcing others to believe in one's "knowledge" which we regard as based on"hard fact", is a form of 'secular' religious imperialism, in the nation of the highest diversity on earth.
                                          Reply
                                          1. E
                                            Esha
                                            Nov 15, 2014 at 9:27 am
                                            Stop controlling the wealth of the forests, and harboring within its arms your women. The might of the forest will rise up and destroy you, it will raise itself and swell in those who scoff and attempt to 'manage' them. The protectors of the forest and the women will raise themselves on their hind-legs to devour those who failed to cherish and to co-habit on an equal basis with them, and they will come again, and their virulence will again take form.
                                            Reply
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