Women in India dumped outdoors after surgical procedure

INDIA - Two doctors carrying out 106 sterilisations in a day. Unconscious women being left on a field.

Those were the scenes from a rural hospital in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal and broadcast on television channels in the country.

The sterilisations were done in a single day at the government-run Manikchak Rural Hospital last week, about 440km from state capital Kolkata.

Some of the women fell unconscious after they underwent the programme and were immediately moved to an open field, India Today reported.

The sterilisation drive broke several rules about health and safety procedures and drastically overstepped the limit of 25 sterilisations per day.

The patients should also have been kept under observation for at least three hours, but with only 30 beds at the hospital reserved for women, patients were left outdoors with no medical assistance or protection against infections.

The ill-equipped hospital has only 60 beds.

No gynaecologist

Even more shockingly, neither of the two doctors at Manikchak Rural Hospital is a gynaecologist.

Another doctor from a health-care centre nearby had to be called in to help with the procedure, news reports said.

And finally, the patients were sent home on bicycles because the hospital had no ambulance, India Today quoted a health official as saying.

The doctors at the hospital are now under investigation and one local health official is suspended. Mrs Pinki Mondal, one of the patients who underwent the procedure, met with a road accident as the bicycle she was being carried on collided with a van.

She had to be rushed back to the same hospital. She has since been moved to another hospital after her injury turned out to be serious.

Said the district's chief medical officer: "We have come to know about the incident and it's unacceptable. We have ordered an inquiry into the matter and asked the hospital authorities to submit the report soon."

Health activist Ratnaboli Ray told New Delhi TV: "We all know there is a severe risk of morbidity during sterilisation and the question is whether this has been taken care of or not."

Ms Sabitri Mitra, the women and child development minister for West Bengal, said: "This irresponsible act will not be tolerated. The chief medical officer is looking into it and necessary action will be taken."

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