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The Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH), the apex body representing all private hospitals and nursing homes in the country, reassured patients and the general public that member hospitals remain committed to providing access to safe healthcare services, despite challenges posed by the
The Association lauded efforts taken by private member hospitals to strengthen safety and precautionary measures aimed at controlling the risk and spread of the pandemic in hospital premises.
“Our Association and members are fully prepared and have enforced precautionary and safety measures recommended by local authorities and the World Health Organisation, to control and prevent the spread of the pandemic within hospital premises,” said APHNH Secretary Dr. Sunil Ratnapriya.
“We’ve replicated global best practices, and we’re proud of the lengths to which private hospitals have gone to ensure a safe and healthy experience for patients and staff. Healthcare workers really are frontline heroes, and hospitals are doing their best to keep them safe.”
“While the country’s national health services are geared towards fighting the pandemic, private hospitals play a critical role in ensuring that all Sri Lankans continue to receive quality and timely access to essential health services and routine checks.
“Some services private hospitals continue to provide include elective surgeries, mobile laboratory services and online medicine delivery,” Dr. Ratnapriya added.
Measures taken by private hospitals include triaging patients efficiently with rapid identification of COVID-19 suspected patients and directing them to assigned government hospitals; providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of the highest standards as recommended by the Ministry of Health, College of Microbiologists, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the WHO to hospital staff; and, adhering to stringent infection control protocols and guidelines to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff.
Additionally, in compliance with infection control safety guidelines, private hospitals are equipped with facilities such as separate in-house wards and outdoor locations to isolate suspected individuals.
Hospitals are also equipped with facilities to provide emergency care for suspected individuals, such as resuscitation chambers with separate air flow systems, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters etc, , without compromising the safety of the staff, other patients or
“Private hospitals follow a crucial preliminary procedure of screening all patients and visitors that arrive at the hospital. Services for checking the temperature, facilities for hand washing and collection of details of all entering the hospital premises are in place.
“Based on their clinical presentation and contact history, high-risk patients are identified and directed to appropriate centres according to instructions given in the Ministry of Health circulars.Our staff is given special training on effectively handle suspected patients, using personal protective equipment and, on the use of approved disinfectants for surface cleaning. All instruments, attires, equipment (where necessary) are sterilised using appropriate and accepted sterilization procedures,” assured Dr. Ratnapriya. Ensuring that the entire health workforce is optimized is key. As doctors and hospital staff are recognised as being on the frontlines of this public health emergency, private hospitals remain committed to ensuring that the safety of their healthcare workers as a priority.
While embracing a work culture of adherence to good health practices among staff via measures such as standard disinfection practices in the hospital, hospital management teams continue to conduct regular audits and enforce corrective action to ensure that patient and health worker safety measures are constantly strengthened.
“It is important that patients don’t skip their routine checks and doctor visits because of the pandemic, as this can lead to even greater health risks. We’re thriving each day to ensure that our hospitals remain COVID free and our healthcare workers are safe. Hospitals have even embraced tele-medicine and digital healthcare provision in efforts to ensure access to healthcare, despite a global pandemic”, remarked Dr. Ratnapriya.