Two days after 83 women opted for laparoscopic tubectomies at a family planning camp organised by the Chhattisgarh government in Bilaspur, four women died on Monday while at least 20 more are reported to be in a serious condition.
The office of Bilaspur Chief Medical Officer R K Bhange told The Indian Express that senior surgeon Dr R K Gupta and his assistant conducted all the operations in five hours. Bhange, however, ruled out negligence. “There was no negligence. He is a senior doctor. We will probe,” he said.
The camp was held in Pendari area of Takhatpur in Bilaspur, the home district of Health Minister Amar Agarwal, on Saturday.
“Eighty-three women underwent the operation, 25 are in hospital and some are very serious… We have already ordered a probe and the post-mortem reports are expected tomorrow,” said Agarwal. The state government has announced a relief of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those dead, and Rs 50,000 for those critical.
According to reports, the women — all residents of neighbouring villages and most of them from BPL families — were discharged soon after their surgery on Saturday. But as their condition deteriorated, they were referred to the Bilaspur district hospital on Monday, where four of them died — three have been identified as Janaki Bai Suryvanshi, Dipti Yadav and Rekha Nirmalkar, all under 30 years.
The camp was organised as part of the central government’s family planning programme under which a woman gets Rs 1,400 for undergoing the operation, and the health worker who brings them gets Rs 200 for each woman.
The Congress accused the state government of negligence in a bid to meet the central government’s targets. A three-member panel has been set up to probe the incident.