An 80-year-old woman has died after her family mistakenly hired a former security guard to perform surgery on her in one of Pakistan’s biggest government hospitals.
Shameema Begum died two weeks after the alleged imposter, Muhammad Waheed Butt, performed the surgery to treat a back wound in the operation theatre of government-owned Mayo hospital in Lahore.
The family told local network Geo TV that they took Begum to the hospital on 17 May and she was referred to the surgical ward for surgery. It was then that the accused approached them impersonating a doctor and offered to help them.
The family say they paid Mr Butt for the surgery and two subsequent home visits for the dressing of her wound. But the wound continued to worsen and bleed.
When the family raised alarm over her deteriorating condition, he asked them to return to the hospital. It was then they were told there was no doctor going by that name and that Mr Butt was previously employed there as a security guard.
An administrative official at Mayo hospital told the AFP news agency: “We can’t keep up with what every doctor and what everyone is doing at all times. It’s a large hospital.”
He said that it is still unclear what type of surgery was performed in the hospital’s operating theatre.
The hospital’s medical superintendent, identified as Dr Iftikhar, told Geo TV that they complied with police in arresting the former guard and that another employee was suspended for assisting him in the operation theatre.
Lahore police spokesperson Ali Safdar said the accused was arrested and has been charged. “Butt had posed as a doctor and made home visits to other patients in the past also,” he added.
As a part of the investigation, the body of the woman was taken for an autopsy to ascertain if she died due to complications from the botched surgery.