Salem: Nine poor patients who underwent free cataract surgery at the Mettur government hospital have completely lost their vision in one eye despite over a week-long treatment at a private hospital in Coimbatore. With eyes bandaged, the nine patients including six women who lost vision in one eye, staged a protest at the Salem collectorate on Friday, demanding `20 lakh each from the government as compensation for the loss of their eyesight.
“ The doctors at the private hospital have told us that my grandmother has no chance of regaining her vision in one eye,” said Dhanalakshmi, the grand-daughter of 60-year-old Parvathiammal who lost her vision in the botched-up surgery at the government hospital at Mettur. Besides Parvathiammal, eight other patients who are aged between 45 and 70 were discharged from the private Aravind Hospital on Thursday as there was no improvement in their eyesight despite intensive treatment. All nine patients have no chance of regaining vision in one eye, the doctors at the Aravind Hospital have told their relatives.
Last month, 18 patients who underwent cataract surgery at the Mettur government hospital, complained of loss of vision. While 9 patients suffered minimal loss, nine other patients complained of complete loss of eyesight. Immediately, they were shifted to the Aravind Eye Hospital in Coimbatore for intensive treatment. Left with no hope of getting back their eyesight, the nine patients along with their relatives resorted to a protest at the Salem Collectorate on Friday. The patients demanded Rs 20 lakh compensation besides old age pension, free house pattas and stringent action against the doctors of the government hospital who performed the surgeries leading to their loss of eyesight.
After two hours of dharna, Salem Collector V. Sampath met the affected patients and their relatives. The Collector promised immediate steps to provide old age pension, two cents of patta land free of cost and free housing on the land. As for the demand for compensation, the collector said he would take up the issue with the government and make arrangements for immediate compensation. After the collector’s assurance, the nine patients were taken by an ambulance to their homes in Mettur....