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Editorial - National Hospital Mayhem: Shame, Shame, Shame.


31 May 2013 06:30 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


In a front page report headlined ‘Hippocratic or hypocritical?’ highlighted the shocking and scandalous case of what happened at the country’s premier medical centre, the Sri Lanka National Hospital. A courageous and civic conscious lady lawyer, Selyna D. Peiris had seen a girl, later found to be a trainee nurse, being tossed out of a private bus on Havelock Road. While the police dealt with the bus crew the lady lawyer carried the injured girl into her car and rushed her to the National Hospital. But what happened there is just one of a million symptoms of moral, ethical and spiritual decay in Sri Lanka.

Ms. Peiris said some of the staff at the hospital acted in a callous if not hard hearted manner with Florence Nightingale probably turning in her grave. They told her to wheel out a stretcher, put the patient on it and take her to the accident ward. Ms. Peirisdid so with difficulty with the patient vomiting blood, while nurses, attendants and even doctors at the accident ward were watching a teledrama.

Ms. Peiris said, “After painfully having managed to get her an x-ray, we had to run around the ward to convince the doctor that this patient was actually worth having a look at. Finally, after about 2 hours of mayhem, she was admitted to the ward and we were praying that she had no major injuries.  The shock and disgust I felt at this time affected me to the very core of my being. I was appalled at the treatment which ordinary citizens face in times of greatest need and ashamed that I was too privileged never to have experienced this before. This is the sad reality of this so called Island in Paradise. I am ashamed today to live in a country with such blatant disregard for human life. The compassion and loving kindness so inherent to our culture is now merely folklore. There are many young people willing to take a stand for reforms….”
Sri Lanka’s public health service has a budgetary allocation of about Rs. 90 billion this year. We have more than 600 public hospitals, 400 medical clinics, more than 15,000 doctors, 30,000 nurses and tens of thousands of paramedical staff. With all these financial, human and technological resources, shameful negligence such as what happened on Tuesday night, takes place largely due to the lack of state regulation and monitoring. The public health service needs urgent structural changes like the National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP), a patient’s charter of rights and responsibilities, a constitutional amendment to make health a fundamental right and a National Health Policy.

We hope the Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will act fast to rectify these structural injustices.

  Comments - 7

  • SudhuPancha Saturday, 01 June 2013 07:12 AM

    Welcome to paradise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Regi Saturday, 01 June 2013 08:40 AM

    Over to Health Minister, who has been named as one of '2013 Harvard Health Leaders' by Harvard School of Public Health, US, recognizing his commitment to innovative leadership in his tenure as the Health Minister of Sri Lanka as per the Health Ministry Media Officer.

    KarmaRouge Saturday, 01 June 2013 01:44 PM

    This is not Paradise anymore. It' is called "Parayage Desay".

    DRD. Saturday, 01 June 2013 03:19 PM

    Being a doctor who brought a transfer patient from leading hospital Galle also faced a similar treatment at NHSL. Doctors, Nurses and attendants of NHSL emergency all wanted to take the patient who had been already admitted to NHSL, various departments to get investigations done by the staff who brought the patient. need proper management at NHSL where our health sector is heading?

    weera Saturday, 01 June 2013 04:07 PM

    Majority of Hospital workers including doctors and nurses do not know the meaning of compassion and dedication. Their main interest is to get through the day and look forward for the pay cheque at the end of the month.

    Gamini Saturday, 01 June 2013 05:01 PM

    This incident should be investigated. Over to you Secretary of health services.
    At present, There is no inward X- ray facilities for all critical care units and wards, due to ongoing trade union action by Radiographers.These x rays are for those patient who are critically ill and cannot be transported from wards to the X-ray department for x rays.Therefore, This trade union violates all ethics and norms of trade union actions. Can any body take them to courts and take injunction against them?

    Critic Roshan Monday, 03 June 2013 01:45 AM

    Ahm...... Kata kiyannada me Awanaduwa?

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