No action against doctor who performed ‘unnecessary’ hysterectomies

A gynaecologist attached to a government hospital conducted as many as 1,428 hysterectomies over three years, and shockingly, 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 has said.

The department, which constituted the inquiry committee following media reports about “unnecessary hysterectomies” in Biruru community health centre in Chikkamagaluru district, has not taken action against the doctor except to transfer him to another place. The report itself has come to light nearly a year after it was submitted to the department.

The committee had recommended a CID inquiry into the incidents of “unnecessary hysterectomies” conducted by the doctor.

The department constituted a committee under the leadership of T.R. Sudha, head of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology in Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, to probe into the allegations against Dr. Dayanand of Biruru Community Health Centre in December 2014. The other members were Shamala Bhandari, an advocate and member of State Women’s Commission, and Vani Kori, noted gynaecologist from Shivamogga.

Reports in the media alleging that the doctor conducted many “unwanted hysterectomy” surgeries were the basis for the department to order the probe.

The committee submitted its report in February 2015 to the Director of Health and Family Welfare. It states that the doctor and a few others committed “cognisable offences”. It noticed that the doctor conducted 1,428 hysterectomies in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The committee pointed out that the doctor conducted surgeries in many cases where it was not necessary. The expert doctors in the committee gave their detail opinions about such cases in the report. The committee members also noted that the women who underwent the surgery were asked to pay anywhere between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000.

Representatives of agencies implementing the government-sponsored health insurance schemes were hand-in-glove with the doctor, the report stated.

When The Hindu contacted Ms. Bhandari, she said: “The report is in detail and found that there is enough evidence to nail the doctor. We had recommended for a CID probe as women from eight districts had undergone surgery in the hospital. It is disappointing that the government has not acted upon the recommendations.”

The doctor has been transferred to Chigateri Hospital in Davangere. G.M. Vamadeva, Director of Health and Family Welfare, said that the doctor was transferred “as punishment” after the inquiry committee report was submitted. “The report is with the government. It has to take a decision on the CID inquiry,” he added.

Over 40 per cent

of women, who underwent the surgery, were below

the age of 35

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