73 tubectomy operations in four hours in UP’s primary health centre

Lucknow(PTI): After horrific tales of ward boys performing surgeries and infants being delivered in candle light in government hospitals of Uttar Pradesh, here comes another shocker. As many as 73 tubectomy operations were performed at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the prime minister’s constituency– Varanasi, under the Centre’s family welfare programme.


After horrific tales of ward boys performing surgeries and infants being delivered in candle light in government hospitals of Uttar Pradesh, here comes another shocker. As many as 73 tubectomy operations were performed at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the prime minister’s constituency– Varanasi, under the Centre’s family welfare programme.
That’s not all. After the operation (laparoscopy not invasive surgery), the women were asked to lie on the ground on bedsheets and durries outside the PHC in the open. The doctors were entirely callous about the chilly winds and the high risk of infection the women faced.

What actually happened?
The government had organised a camp for the purpose on Thursday at the PHC in Chiraigaon, Varanasi. Women who heard that the process was being done free, and were told that the government even pays for it, made a beeline for the PHC. Relatives of women who underwent the tubectomy told reporters that the doctors had arrived late and were in a hurry to leave as Chiraigaon is a remote area, about 20 km from Varanasi. The operations started at 12 noon and finished at 4 pm, they said.

What is the government’s take?
Varanasi chief medical officer, MP Chaurasiya says there is a shortage of beds at PHCs but still the women should have been kept in tents and provided mattresses for which funds are sanctioned. Varanasi DM, Pranjal Yadav said the contractor who was supposed to provide the beds did not deliver. UP health minister Ahmad Hasan has announced a “high level inquiry” and said those responsible would be severely punished.

What is the expert opinion?
Veteran gynaecologist Dr Radha Vats says there is high risk of infection immediately after the laparoscopy. “The patient needs at least four hours’ rest for the anaesthesia to wear off, and should remain indoors for at least a week to prevent infection,” she said. Normally, an expert assisted by para-medical staff could perform this process in five to six minutes. But the average time taken in this case works out to just a little over three minutes.

What is the Centre’s family welfare scheme?
It is part of the National Rural Health Mission and women who undergo tubectomy are paid Rs 1,400 each. Each PHC is given a target of 1,200 such operations in a year.