Visuals showing a class IV employee of the Bulandshahr district hospital carrying out stitches on the wounds of an injured child and another one giving an injection to a patient have been aired by TV channels.
But the hospital authorities maintained such staff were "trained" to carry out the procedures. The UP government has ordered an inquiry, saying laxity will not be tolerated and stern action will be taken against the errant staff.
The hospital's Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) Shishir Kumar claimed, "The clip that is being shown on TV, the ward boy in it has even worked in the OT (operation theatre) for ten years. Apart from that, his duty is there in the dressing room as well. He's perfectly trained for dressing purposes."
Maintaining that what was shown was not a surgery but dressing of wound, he said, "The one who is being called cleaning boy is only cutting the thread in the course of stitching. The ward boy doing the stitching is trained. I am standing there, if you see the clip. It is happening in my supervision."
None of the hospital doctors was seen in the visuals when the ward boys were attending to the patients. V K Sharma, Additional Health Director, Meerut Zone, who paid a visit to the hospital in the wake of the telecast, said, "They (ward boys) were not operating. The man was working as an assistant...He was the OT assistant."
Sharma said, "I have suggested to Dr Shishir Kumar (CMS) that in future they should make a proper contingent and only the doctors should carry out stitches or operate on patients...There should be no stitching by the other staff."
He said he would be submitting a report to the higher authorities with a warning that such practices should not be done in future. He said he would also suggest guidelines.
UP Health Minister Ahmad Hassan said in Lucknow that the government has ordered an inquiry into Class IV staff conducting medical procedures at the Bulandshahr hospital.
"I have already sent the Additional Director to investigate. I will receive the report by this evening. Those found guilty will face action ... "Laxity will not be tolerated and stern action will be taken against errant staff," Hasan told reporters.
The hospital CMS said the doctors were there but the clips do not show what they were doing. Kumar said, "Our orthopaedic surgeon, our surgeon were present there...The grave fracture case was being handled by them....Only the stitching, and that too a minor one was happening and I was supervising him..."
Claiming that the visuals may send a "wrong signal," he said, "...In case of disaster or emergency, we have to work as a unit. And, if you follow this case, you will realise that a very good repair has been done."
Another doctor Sunil Saxena said he had been practising medicine for the last 35 years and that "medicine is a team work and paramedics are an important part and they always pitch in."