Safdar Ali Shah, 36, displays his medical X-ray sheet with a scissor in his lower abdomen outside the Karachi Press Club April 9, 2012.
Safdar Ali Shah, 36, displays his medical X-ray sheet with a scissor in his lower abdomen outside the Karachi Press Club April 9, 2012. - Reuters (File Photo)

KARACHI: A case of medical negligence surfaced on Monday when a 37-year-old man from Ubauro, Ghotki, told a press conference that a surgeon had left a pair of scissors in his abdomen while operating upon him seven months back at a government hospital in Rahimyar Khan.

Showing an X-ray film to journalists at the Karachi Press Club, Safdar Ali Shah said he with a friend had come to the city on Saturday for a medical checkup after pain in his abdomen did not subside. He said he went for the X-ray on the advice of a doctor at the Liaquat National Hospital.

“The result shocked all of us, including the staff and doctors, as there was a pair of scissors lying in the abdomen.”

He said the doctors had prescribed immediate removal of the surgical instrument.

Waiting for an immediate intervention at some hospital, Mr Shah, a carpenter, said he left the private hospital because he could not afford to pay around Rs200,000, the estimated cost of operation.

“I am a poor man and I cannot pay the bills of private hospitals,” said Mr Shah while speaking to Dawn on phone late Monday night.

He added he would visit the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or Civil Hospital Karachi on Tuesday for treatment.

His friend, Ahsan Ali, also a resident of Ubauro, expressed the hope that doctors and the relevant authorities would take up his case on humanitarian grounds and provide him the treatment free.

Mr Shah said that doctors at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Rahimyar Khan could be blamed for his suffering. “I am in possession of all relevant details and will definitely sue the irresponsible doctors.”

He recalled that he was admitted to the government hospital for surgery after sustaining a gunshot wound in a family dispute. “On Sept 4, 2011, a general surgeon operated upon me to save the abdomen and an artery damaged by the bullet,” he said.

He said he never felt relief from the pain since the operation, but he could not have imagined that a person as educated as a doctor could do this to him.

In reply to a question, he said he reported to the Rahimyar Khan hospital because it was the only major hospital located closed to the place of his residence.