Victims of eye surgery tragedy consider action.jpg

Victims of eye surgery tragedy consider action

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

The families of three of the four patients whose sight was lost after operations at I-QMed clinic in Lagoa are considering taking legal action against the doctor, Franciscus Versteeg, and the Portuguese State.

All three, who attended the clinic for the removal of cataracts, have now been discharged from Hospital dos Capuchos in Lisbon, where they sought treatment afterwards. According to the medical staff of the hospital, everything possible was done to restore the patients’ sight but the infections were too serious and the infected eyes had to be removed.

The three people are to return to the hospital for the placement of the prosthesis and collect clinical reports to be used in any court action.

The families are said to be in the final stages of choosing a team of lawyers and are waiting for the completion of all clinical procedures before considering going to court.

They are said to be considering including the Portuguese State in any action for “the lack of clinical supervision at the I-QMed clinic”.

The daughter of one of the patients told Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Notícias: “My father is old and very forgetful. He can’t hear very well and now he is almost blind. He is very sad with this situation. He paid 1,150 Euros for the surgery and instead of getting his vision improved, he was almost blinded.”

She added: “The doctor who operated on my father will have to be responsible for his actions but the Health Ministry will have to as well. We want to understand how this clinic was open and operating illegally.”

Dr Versteeg told the Algarve Resident on Wednesday: “I am completely unaware of that (lawsuit). In September, the healthcare

inspection will release a report.”

A fourth patient, a 35-year-old Brazilian woman who underwent intraocular lens surgery on both eyes, is still in Hospital dos Capuchos, where doctors are doing everything they can to restore vision to the patient, but her prognosis is said to be ”uncertain”.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]