India surgery death toll rises
NEW DELHI: The death toll from botched sterilisations rose to 11 in India yesterday, and a general strike was called to protest against alleged medical malpractice.
Tubectomies were carried out on 83 women as part of a bid to control birth rates at a state-run hospital in Chhattisgarh state’s Bilaspur district on Saturday.
On Monday, the women complained of pain, nausea and fever, after which eight died.
Three more women have died since Tuesday, said district official NK Tekam, while 59 were admitted at the hospital, six in a serious condition.
A shutdown was called by the opposition Congress Party which demanded resignations of the state’s health and chief minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a “thorough investigation and action”.
Broadcaster NDTV showed health officials admitting “moral responsibility” for the deaths. Officials said preliminary examinations suggest the deaths could have been caused by infection or shock due to blood loss, but the confirmed cause would be known only after the autopsies.
Medical officers say they were under pressure from authorities to meet targets and had operated at twice the normal daily quota of 40 sterilisations on Saturday. – Sapa-dpa