Bihar: After Kidney, Now Uteruses of Poor Women Removed at Private Clinic
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: NDTV
Patna: In yet another health scandal in Bihar, seven poor women are battling for life after their uteruses were allegedly removed at a private nursing home. All of them are in the age group of 22 to 35 years.
The women were admitted for a minor operation or baby delivery at Om Sai Nursing Home in Ramnagar in the west Champaran district.
This sensational and shocking incident comes two months after both kidneys of a Dalit woman were allegedly removed at a private nursing home in Muzaffarpur district. She is still battling for life.
On Monday, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the principal secretary of state health department in this connection and sought a reply within four weeks.
After the news came to light, West Champaran Civil Surgeon Dr Virender Kumar Choudhary ordered an inquiry into it and asked
concerned officials to take stern action against culprits. “As per my information, this incident happened on Monday, and I immediately took notice of it and sent a team of doctors to probe into this,” Choudhary told NewsClick.
All these women were shifted to the state-run Government Medical College and Hospital I Bettiah, district headquarters town for proper treatment after their uteruses were removed, he said.
Choudhary said poor women’s uteruses were removed at a private nursing home, which was being run illegally. “We are waiting for a probe report of the expert team into the matter,” the civil surgeon said.
Choudhary admitted that several such illegal private clinics are running in different urban parts of the district and the health
department will initiate action against them soon.
Ramnagar PHC in-charge Dr Chandra Bhusan Singh said the removal of the uterus of women below the age of 40 is not advisable unless it is medically inevitable. “It was illegal and wrong the way uteruses of these women were removed,” he said.
According to a district health official, the local administration has sealed the Om Sai Nursing Home, where uteruses were removed. It was verified that Om Sai Nursing Home’s registration and degrees of the doctors involved in the operation were fake.
The clinic neither has its registration number nor the degrees of its doctors displayed on a board. Locals alleged that the clinic is run by self-proclaimed doctors. The doctors and owner of the clinic are absconding after a probe began into the incident.
Anant Ram, the police officer in charge of Ramnagar, told NewsClick that an FIR would be lodged against the private clinic for allegedly removing the uteruses of these women. “In a violation of basic medical ethics, private clinics removed uteruses without informing them,” he said.
As per local media reports that quoted close relatives of these women, they never expected that the uterus would be removed without their approval. They have reportedly expressed anger and demanded harsh punishment for the doctors and owner of the clinic that violated established rules of treatment.
In early September this year, Sunita Devi, in her early 30s, a mother of two from a village under Sakra block in Muzaffarpur, was rushed to Subhakant Clinic following stomach pain. After examining her and conducting an ultrasound, doctors asked the family to immediately admit her for a uterus removal operation. But instead, both her kidneys were allegedly removed, and her condition deteriorated after that.
In the wake of her critical health conditions, ultrasound reports at the government-run Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) and Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur confirmed that both her kidneys were missing and removed.
Days after it came to light that both kidneys of the poor dalit woman were allegedly removed and stolen at a private nursing home in the name of a uterus removal operation, an initial probe revealed that there was no operation theatre in the private clinic, and it also lacked all basic facilities.
Sunita’s horrible experience has exposed the ground reality of basic health care in rural Bihar. Contrary to the state government’s claims, the health infrastructure remains poor, with thousands of patients, primarily poor and marginalised, visiting OPDs and returning without treatment due to the unavailability of doctors and defunct ultrasound and X-Ray machines, etc.
As per local dailies, in the last month since the new Mahagathbandhan government was formed, and hundreds of patients who queued up for hours at Sadar hospitals in different districts had to return without even basic check-ups as doctors were absent. Similarly, several seriously ill patients could not be hospitalised due to either the unavailability of medical staff or lack of equipment.
Most primary or community health centres are non-functional, and even district hospitals are facing a shortage of doctors and basic
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report presented in the Assembly in March, highlighted that the government hospitals, mainly in the districts, lack resources and a workforce. The number of doctors, nurses and other paramedic staff is also significantly less.
The CAG report also exposed the state’s unpreparedness during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. “There was a persistent shortage
of doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and technicians in Bihar from 2014 till 2020 but the department did not publish the vacancies to get them filled,” the report said.
As per the report, there is a bed shortfall ranging from 52% to 92% at hospitals. The number of beds was not raised to the sanctioned level even after a decade had passed.
A CAG audit of hospitals in the districts of Biharsharif, Hajipur, Jehanabad, Madhepura and Patna from 2014-15 to 2019-20 showed that they hardly provide patients with basic health facilities. Much to its shock, the audit team found street dogs, pigs and open drains on the premises of the hospitals.
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