A surgeon at a private hospital in Multan landed in hot waters after at least 16 people that underwent surgery at the hospital turned blind.
Dr Hasnain Mushtaq, the surgeon is being slammed for alleged negligence during multiple eye operations. According to The News, some 16 people lost their eyesight a few hours after their respective surgeries. The surgeries reportedly took place on 20th March 2021.
These patients claim they experienced pain in their eyes after the operations. One of the patients, Rana Abdul Malik told The News, how despite complaining about pain he was sent home. Now they’ve all turned blind.
“Once the bandage was removed, I knew my eye had been ruined. The pain continued while I was at home, throughout the night. And then, in the morning, I called the doctor,”
Despite all the patients complaining about pain, only a few were admitted.
“The doctor prescribed medicine and then all of us went to the hospital, where some were admitted, … Meanwhile, others were forced to take medicine and asked to return to their homes.”
Rana Abdul Malik only learned he had lost sight in the ‘treated eye’ when he sought the opinion of another doctor. He went to two other doctors who told him the same;
“They old me that my eye had been completely damaged [and] asked me why I went to that hospital”.
Another patient, Jeevan recalled a similar experience to Dawn News.
“As soon as the bandage was removed at 8am, I told the hospital staff that I had lost the vision; however, I was asked to wait until the doctor examined me. The doctor examined me at 3pm and soon discharged me after giving me painkiller tablets and eye drops,” he said.
Sehat Insaf Card Treatment Facilities
The incident was reported at Laeeque Rafiq Hospital in Multan’s area of Larr. All 16 individuals including seven women used the Sehat Insaf Card for treatment.
The Sehat Insaf Card is a flagship public health initiative of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for their eye operations. The objective of this program was to provide affordable healthcare to all. All those affected by their surgery at Laeeque Rafiq Hospital were poor people that couldn’t afford treatment otherwise.
Authorities Take Notice
The victims are demanding authorities to investigate the incident. Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab, Usman Buzdar took notice of the incident. He directed the health department to investigate why the patients turned blind. He also called for prompt action against those who are responsible for the surgical negligence.
The Secretary of Health and Commissioner Multan Division have been asked to submit a detailed report to CM Punjab. In addition to this, he has also directed the provincial health authorities to focus on the treatment of the affected people and unveil the facts behind the issue.