Fri, 25 Jun 2021 Today's Paper

Hospitals are not undertakers - EDITORIAL

20 September 2015 06:34 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

edicine or the sacred art, if not the heart of healing has for centuries been revered as a vocation on the lines of the priesthood. The Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians. In its original form, this oath which was taken during the highest era of Greek civilisation required a new physician to swear to uphold ethical standards. Hippocrates is often called the father of medicine in Western culture. The original oath was written in Ionic Greek in the late fifth century B.C.  
The final lines of this oath go like this; “... I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure. I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm. If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”


Unfortunately, with the negative values of the globalised, capitalist market economic policies being poked down the throats of almost all countries, medicine has also been afflicted by it. To a large extent, this once sacred vocation gradually became a profession and now part of a big, profit-making business.
We reflect on the enlightened beginnings in the aftermath of a tragedy where a leading Colombo hospital allegedly refused to release the body of a patient until the bill of about Rs. 1.5 million was settled by the family. Last Thursday, Colombo’s Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris ordered the management of Lanka Hospital Corporation PLC to immediately release the body of 62-year-old Tilak Daluwatta after it was allegedly held in custody by the hospital for seven days till the bill was settled.  Mr. Daluwatta had died in the hospital on September 11 while he was receivingpost-operative treatment following a by-pass surgery.
Ordering the hospital management to release the body to the family, the magistrate said that respect for the dead was a sacred duty. There was no legal provision to keep a body in anyone’s custody and the hospital could take civil action if the bill was not settled later, the magistrate said.




The dead man’s brother Daluwatta Wickremasinghe had complained to the Narahenpita police that his brother was admitted to the hospital on August 25 for a by-pass surgery and they were informed the surgery would cost about Rs. 650, 000. The complainant said that the family had paid Rs.300, 000 at the beginning but his brother’s health condition started to deteriorate even after the surgery on August 25. Mr. Wickremasinghe said that at this stage he had requested that his brother be transferred to the National Hospital but that was not done.




On Friday, amid a public outcry, Health Minister Rajitha Senarathne told the Director General of Health Services to appoint a three-member committee to conduct an urgent probe or diagnosis on this issue. We hope the new National Government which has promised to ensure good governance and accountability would not allow this committee also to go the way several other committees have, with the report ending up in some morgue after public pressure has eased.
When private medical practice was allowed some fifty years ago, the aim was to provide more access for suffering patients to get relief as public hospitals were overcrowded. But gradually, private practice and private hospitals became more of a booming business than centres of healing. We acknowledge the commitment and dedicated services of general practitioners, specialists and nurses who sometimes work day and night. But it seems that the system has been corrupted and a cancer is spreading. The private hospitals regulatory authority set up more than two decades ago needs to be woken up to do urgent surgery to restore a health service, public or private, where the well-being of patients is given top priority.  
See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 0

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment


SLPP eats humble pie over fuel price hike statement

The statement put out by SLPP (Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna) General Secretar

GSP+: Isn’t there a way out?

The European Parliament’s resolution on Sri Lanka on June 10 was the second

Is Litro Gas above the regulator?

After an in-house battle among members of the top management of the Consumer

Statistical blunders expose administrative weaknesses

Information helps save lives and during a pandemic a free-flow of vital, accu



See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.