By Romesh Madushanka
Northern Provincial Health Ministry has inaugurated a high-speed ambulance boat service to cater to the medical needs of the island residents of Jaffna.
The new ambulance service was inaugurated by Northern Provincial Health Minister Pathmanadan Sathyalingam fulfilling a long felt need of the island residents in North who had suffered much due to the difficulty of access and delay in transporting patients to the Jaffna hospitals in emergency situations.
This ambulance boat service will serve the residents in Delft and other islands in North.
Philanthropist Kelan Balendran has gifted the ambulance boat under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, Northern Province Governor S.M.P.S. Palihakkara and North Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran during the recent visit of the President to Jaffna.
The ambulance boat service will be operated with the assistance of Sri Lanka Navy, the provincial health minister said.
It takes more than one hour to transport a patient to Kurikattuwan Jetty in Jaffna from the Delft Island in a normal passenger boat operated between the island and Jaffna mainland. But with the introduction of the new ambulance boat service, the time will reduce significantly, the minister said.
Donor Kelan Balendra, North Province Governor’s Secretary N. Illangovan, officials of the Provincial Health Ministry and officers of the Sri Lanka Navy were present at the inauguration of the ambulance boat service.