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Hospital gherao over surgeries

A 16-year-old physically challenged boy who had been paralysed from waist down after surgeries at NRS hospital was readmitted to the hospital on Wednesday following a three-hour gherao of the superintendent by his neighbours.

B. Nagarjun Rao had undergone surgeries on August 10, 2009, and November 13, 2009, to “remove” a hump on his back that kept him from standing straight and walking.

“The surgeries reduced the size of the hump but after the second one, my son became paralysed below the waist,” said Dileswar Rao, a worker in Hooghly Jute Mill in Garden Reach. The 56-year-old had taken the teenager to the hospital only to get him certified as physically challenged.

According to Dileswar, orthopaedic surgeon Gautam Bhattacharya had promised to completely cure Nagarjun by operating on him.

The family “sold property” in Berhampore, Orissa, to foot the bill for the surgeries, which included Rs 40,000 for a plate that was inserted in the child’s back and Rs 30,000 for medicines.

C.H. Prakash, the boy’s uncle, said: “Despite the hump, Nagarjun could go to school before the operations. But now he cannot.”

When Dileswar had asked the surgeon about the paralysis, he had allegedly replied that the boy would be cured gradually. Prahlad said the doctor misbehaved with them when they met him last week to find out why Nagarjun was still paralysed.

On Wednesday, about 100 neighbours and well-wishers of the family gheraoed the medical superintendent in his office from 11am demanding that the boy be properly treated.

The demonstrators dispersed around 2.30pm after the boy was readmitted to the orthopaedic department.

Lakshmi Kanta Ghosh, the medical superintendent and the vice-principal of NRS Medical College and Hospital, said: “Dr Bhattacharya denied that he had promised to completely cure the boy by performing the surgeries.”

Ghosh added that he would find out whether there was any negligence on the surgeon’s part.

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