at Matale Hospital
Heart patient dies as nurses
refuse to wash their plates
By Dhanuusha Pathirana
A heart patient died yesterday at the Matale Hospital during a strike
by nurses who were protesting over labourers' refusal to wash their
heart patient, 25-year-old Sampath Bandara, was sent to the Emergency
Treatment Unit (ETU) of the hospital by doctors but the unit was
locked by the striking nurses who were attending a meeting elsewhere.
the nurses turned down a compromise proposal to use polythene sheets.
According to hospital officials, the labourers’ duty does
not include washing nurses' plates.
nurses point out that the practice of labourers washing plates has
been observed since the 1950s when sisters worked in hospitals.Central
Province Health Services Director, Dr. Shanthi Samarasinghe said.
Samarasinghe said that due to the callous act of the nurses, the
patients are suffering a great deal. There are over 500 patients
in the wards. "We have employed labourers from outside to alleviate
the situation at the hospital, but their service is not enough since
there is only one per ward.”