"We earlier served show cause notices to four doctors and four nurses of the Gobinda Ballav Pant Government Medical College and Hospital. After getting unsatisfactory replies, the government has decided to suspend them," a top official of the health department told reporters, requesting that his identity be withheld. 

This is the first time that such a large number of health personnel in the state have been suspended. The erroneous operation occurred in September 2013.

Tripura Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty told the state assembly recently that the government would take stringent action against the erring doctors and nurses.

The Minister had said the error occurred as the medical college had another patient by the same name, who was admitted with urethra-related problems.

The issue rocked the monsoon session of the Tripura assembly. Civil society groups also exerted pressure on the government in the matter. The government thus initiated a probe. 

Following the advice of senior doctors, Ratan Das, 53, a small-time trader from southern Tripura, was admitted to the Gobinda Ballav Pant Medical College and Hospital first week of September. He was to undergo a biopsy of his mouth. But doctors conducted surgery on his lower abdomen and urethra instead, in the second week of September.

Another patient by the same name, Ratan Das, 45, with abdomen and urethra-related problems was also admitted to the hospital, the minister said.

Trader Ratan Das's wife Jhulan filed a complaint with the police, Health Minister and other authorities, seeking action against the medical staff responsible for the error.

The health minister had assured the assembly that if necessary the government would take care of the further treatment of trader Ratan Das, who has now almost recovered.

The East Kotwali police is also probing the matter.

Cutting across party lines, legislators of both the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress demanded strict action against the negligent medical staff, so that such incidents do not happen again.

(Agencies)

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