Hand-amputation incident: Charge sheets out soonView(s):
By Kumudini Hettiarachchi
Charge sheets against some officials including doctors of the Matara Hospital, accusing them of negligence in the hand-amputation of a law student are being finalised and will be sent to the Public Service Commission (PSC) shortly, a top level health official said on Friday. A committee including legal officers is drafting the charge sheets which will be ready in three to four days, said Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilake when contacted by the Sunday Times. It is the PSC which is mandated to take disciplinary action against public officials.
The charge sheets follow the submission of the report earlier last week by the Expert Committee which inquired into the circumstances which led to the amputation of the left hand of 23-year-old W.K. Achala Priyadharshani following a fracture. The report was submitted to Dr. Jayathilake who in turn has discussed it with Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena.
The Expert Committee in addition to negligence has identified deficiencies in the treatment process as well as some system failures, it is learnt. The Matara incident is being taken as ‘a case model’ to put right certain systems, including the on-call system in all state hospitals across the country, Dr. Jayathilake said.
Medical Services Director Dr. Lal Panapitiya assisted by a top-level three-member committee of surgeons inquired into the circumstances that led to the amputation. The committee of surgeons comprised Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Narendra Pinto and Consultant Senior General Surgeons Dr. Sarath Collure and Dr. D.G.N. Ratnasena.
Achala fell down the stairs in her home on January 17 and was taken to the Heegoda Peripheral Hospital where splints were placed and then to the Matara Hospital where a Plaster of Paris cast was put on her left hand. Later she was transferred to the National Hospital in Colombo where her hand had to be amputated on January 23 as gangrene had set in and her life was in danger.
Achala is in the final-year at the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo and students have launched a campaign titled ‘Hand for Achala, Justice for Negligence’ to collect funds to get her a functional hand as well as to seek justice.
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