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Woman wrongly operated: Protestors take to the streets in Bihar

September 14, 2011 17:19 IST

Protestors burnt rubber tyres and blocked the Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi national highway demanding the arrest of the accused- Dr Bhardawaj - and adequate compensation for the victim. M I Khan reports. 

Hundreds of people took to the streets on Wednesday in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district to protest delay on the part of police to arrest a government hospital doctor, who wrongly operated a woman's gallbladder instead of her leg.

Sushila Devi, in her late 40s, is still battling for her life at the intensive care unit of Sri Krishna medical college and hospital in Muzaffarpur. Her condition deteriorated on Wednesday after doctors of the hospital went on strike to protest detention of Dr H N Bhardawaj, who has been accused of wrongly operating her. The police had detained Bhardawaj on Tuesday night for interrogation.

Sushila's husband, Sheonarain Prasad, said that her condition was not good and the lack of treatment because of the strike called by doctors has worsened it. 

Sushila's family members along with people from her native village- Bahbal- and a large number of local residents of Muzaffarpur burnt rubber tyres and blocked the Muzaffarpur-Sitamarhi national highway demanding the arrest of Dr Bhardawaj and adequate compensation for Sushila.

This is the second consecutive day when people protested in Muzaffarpur seeking justice for Sushila.

Sensing increasing anger amongst people, Bihar Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey ordered an inquiry into the incident. "I have asked a team of doctors to submit an inquiry report to me within three days. The government will take action against the guilty," he said.

Interestingly, it was Choubey himself who said that it was not a big thing. "Pair ke badle pet ka operation, yeh mamla koi badi baat nahin hain," he said on Tuesday.

Dr Bhardawaj was called by Muzaffarpur city SP Manoj Kumar on Tuesday night for interrogation. But it angered SMCH's doctors, particularly junior doctors, who alleged that he was arrested as if he was a criminal.

SP Kumar said that police detained Dr Bhardawaj for interrogation and asked the SMCH superintendent for duty chart to find the doctor who was on duty during the said period and perform the operation.

Muzaffarpur Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar told that if the doctor is found guilty for wrongly operating Sushila Devi then he would be arrested.

Sushila was admitted at the hospital last week to undergo a surgery on her right leg. However, a doctor wrongly operated her gallbladder instead of her leg.

"It was a life-threatening mistake. There was no complication in her gallbladder," said Sushila's close relative Kailash Prasad. SMCH Superintendent Dr G K Thakur told the Bihar unit of Indian Medical Association that the incident was caused due to human error.

This is not the first case of negligence at SKMCH. In 2008 too, a man was wrongly operated.

In Bihar cases of doctors negligence has been regularly reported in local Hindi dailies.

M I Khan in Patna