By Sheain Fernandopulle
In the wake of concerns raised by the Health Professionals’ Association regarding the alleged turning away of patients at the National Hospital, Colombo, its Deputy Director, Dr. Rukshan Bellana, confirmed to the Daily Mirror that none of the patients were turned away by the administration.
The controversy stemmed from reports that the air conditioner in the laboratory on the third floor of the hospital’s Outpatient Department (OPD) was switched off, leading to the refusal of patients to seek medical attention.
However, Dr. Bellana said a gas leak in the air conditioning system was the root cause of the problem.
According to Dr. Bellana, the hospital promptly reached the Chinese maintenance company to rectify the malfunction. However, despite recent maintenance efforts, the gas leak persisted, leading to the need for further repairs.
“The maintenance company has informed us that the gas leak remains unchanged even after the recent repairs. They have requested an additional two days to fully restore the malfunctioning air conditioning system,” he stated.
Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing repair work, the hospital administration has been keen on ensuring that no patient is turned away, Dr. Bellana reiterated adding that alternative measures are being implemented to mitigate the impact of the A/C breakdown on patient care.