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Tuesday, July 4, 2017
The free health services of Sri Lanka.
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Shriani BurleySubject: Colombo Government Hospitals
My Filipino friends cannot believe that we have free health service in Sri Lanka. In the Philippines they do not accept the patient until you pay or show that you can afford to pay. I know of instances where dead bodies have not been released by hospitals until full payment is made. Often I hear horror stories from my friends whose relatives are in hospitals in the Philippines. I am going to proudly relate to them the following which they will never comprehend.
"After my husband was in a private hospital in Sri Lanka during the past week where he got really good ICU treatment for which I am truly thankful and had an amazing doctor who treated him who is also a friend and refused to charge him ..... The hospital bill was astronomical and I will happily pay the same amount or more to have him saved the way he was..,I over the last few months have been refusing to go to the private sector for my health - and had been to the out patients dept in Colombo South National Health Service hospital where I was given a date two weeks later for investigations. ( had I been warded the investigation s would have been done straight away) I just returned home after a having had an ultrasound scan of my abdomen liver gall bladder pancreas spleen kidneys bladder uterus pelvis and an endoscopy. superb efficient treatment - went in at 8.30am hundreds of people waiting to be done - I was home by 10am with my scan and endoscopy results to show my doctor at the NHS hospital clinic in a few days time. All free of charge. My personal experiences in the government and the private sector in health care in Sri Lanka has shown me that the doctors and other medical staff in the NHS hospitals are very well trained and are able to take a decision re the patient straight away . However after my husband was taken into a fancily expensive private room in the ward in the private hospital on the one day that the doctor treating him was on leave I had to threaten to take him out of the hospital by private ambulance to a government hospital before I managed to get a medical staff member to take a decision re the pain he was having . Just wanted to share this with you ......"
I worked in the Department of Health, Sri Lanka from 1965 to 2000 as intern House Officer, District Medical Officer in charge of a District Hospital at Koslanda, Senior House Officer training in Surgery, Resident Surgeon, Consultant Surgeon posts at Batticaloa, Rathnapura, Kandy and the General Hospital, later named the National Hospital Sri Lanka, where I retired as Senior Surgeon. We lived at a time when the following rules existed:-
1. Doctors werenot paid overtime.
2. Ones duty for the day was over onlywhen the days work was done- Casualty surgery going on to the early morning hours.
3. Having only two intern house officers under each Consultant in charge of a unit.
4. Taking leave wasnot ones right.
5. The years vacation leave was rarely taken for years on end because, cover for ones duties was unavailable.
6. Service to ones country was foremost in our deliberations and we lived it day by day.
The Health Department still has a lot of dedicated doctors who give of their best to our country, especially in the periphery of Sri Lanka.
We are proud of what we did in our time and proud of the personnel who carry on the mission now.