2,258 unwarranted hysterectomies in 30 months in Kalaburagi city: report

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T.V. SIVANANDAN

Briefing:District convener of the Karnataka Janarogya ChaluvaliTina Xavier speaking after releasing the report on unwarranted hysterectomies, in Kalaburagi city on Wednesday.— Photo: Arul Kulkarni

Briefing:District convener of the Karnataka Janarogya ChaluvaliTina Xavier speaking after releasing the report on unwarranted hysterectomies, in Kalaburagi city on Wednesday.— Photo: Arul Kulkarni

The expert committee appointed by the State government to probe the unwarranted hysterectomies performed in private hospitals in Kalaburagi city has come out with shocking revelations.

The panel, headed by A. Ramachandra Bairy, Deputy Director (Maternal Health) in the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, showed many instances of breach of prescribed medical protocol in performing the surgeries.

A full-scale inquiry was ordered after the media exposed the needless hysterectomies performed on hapless women from lower income families in August last year. The panel has now concluded that many unnecessary hysterectomies were performed in private hospitals.

According to the 12-page report submitted to the government in October 2015 and obtained through RTI by the Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali, which was released at a press conference addressed by the State convener Akhila Vasan and district convener Tina Xavier in Kalaburagi city on Wednesday, only 25 of the 37 private hospitals in Kalaburagi, where the hysterectomies were reported, had submitted the details about the number of operations performed in the last 30 months.

In the 25 hospitals, 2,258 hysterectomies were performed in the last 30 months, and Noola Surgical and Maternity Hospital in Kalaburagi city itself had performed the highest number of 900 hysterectomies during the period. The team found the hospital had committed a breach of ethical practices. The hospital which performed 900 hysterectomies had done it without proper examination reports indicating the need for the surgeries.

The report said: “Histopathological examination reports of the operative specimens were missing in the records, and the detailed discharge summaries were not given to the patients and no proper bills were issued to the patients. There was no medical records’ room in the hospital. The committee, besides recommending action against the hospital for violation of the KPMEA Act, and PCPN DT Act and violation of Bio Medical Waste Management Act, has recommended for close monitoring of the hospital activities by authorities concerned for the next six months. Even after the hysterectomies, the pathology was not proved as many of the specimens were not sent for histopathological examination post-operation, which was a gross deviation from good clinical practices,” said the report.

Another instance

It may be recalled that 1,428 “unnecessary hysterectomies” were conducted in Birur community health centre in Chikkamagaluru district, from 2012-14. More than 40 per cent of the women who underwent the surgery were below the age of 35, an inquiry committee set up by the Department of Health and Family Welfare found.

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