ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 2, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 40
Kandy Times  

Heart burn at Kandy Hospital

By-pass stopped, essential items not available

By Nadia Fazlulhaq

The Kandy Teaching Hospital, which has already stopped performing by-pass operations, is now struggling to carry on with heart, thoracic and lung-related surgeries as many essential surgical materials are unavailable. Although the operating theatre of the hospital is functioning by-pass surgeries are not being performed due to the dearth of arterial catheters, which are widely used during operations.

Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), Kandy Branch secretary Dr. Hansaka Wijeyamuni said doctors and support staff are performing operations with great difficulty.“Arterial lines costs around Rs.15,000 and are now being re-used but when it comes to major surgeries we need to use a new one.

We are trying our best to manage with the surgical materials available but it won’t be for long,” he said. Dr. Wijeyamuni said that most of the time patients are sent back promising them that they would be given a fresh date soon for the operation.“Delaying operations would have a very bad effect on heart patients and there are instances where these patients’ lives are at risk,” he said.

He said that the present situation has been continuing for more than a week. The prevailing drug shortage at the Kandy Hospital has been aggravated as major cases from nearby areas like Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Matale and Dambulla are also being transferred to the hospital.

Brufen, suppositories, medicines for gastritis, Domperidon, drugs to lower cholesterol levels, anti-arrhythmic drugs, temporary pace maker (TPM) catheters besides others are the essential items in short supply.

“The Anuradhapura hospital has no TPM catheters and so a huge number of patients have been transferred to this hospital. At present we re-use the catheters due to the short supply,” Dr. Wijeyamuni said adding that an anti-arrhythmic tablet costs Rs. 52.50 and though patients cannot afford to buy these pills yet doctors advise them to buy them from outside.

The Kandy hospital authorities had ordered surgical material and drugs a few months ago but they have not been received so far, he said.

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