For the past one year, Vishnupriya Sarkar, 55, has not been able to see with her left eye. But when her relatives broke the news that ophthalmologist P.R. Chatterjee of SSKM Hospital has been suspended by the government she could not hold back her tears on Friday.
Chatterjee was suspended by the state government on charges of negligence of duty on Thursday for causing blindness of several patients, who were admitted under him for Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) implants. Health department officials said aggrieved relatives of patients had complained that eye surgeries conducted under Chatterjee had gone wrong.
Besides Vishnupriya, there are nine other “victims” who underwent IOL implant in the past two years at the ophthalmology department of SSKM Hospital and lost their vision. They had all lodged complaints but five cases against Chatterjee were found to be very strong, health department officials said.
Alorani Bose, daughter of Vishnupriya, said: “Within a day or two after the implant, my mother couldn’t see. Later we learnt that the IOL implant was not done properly.”
Sheikh Khalil Ahmed, an SSKM Hospital employee, and Sanak Bahadur Thapa of RN Lane are two other victims. Manik Chandra Adhikari of Batanagar, who underwent microsurgery on January 24, 2002, lost his vision. Examination revealed that instead of one, two lenses had been implanted on him.