Residents of Ratgama have appealed to the Ministry of Health and other authorities to upgrade the facilities at the Ratgama hospital, which is more than half a century old.
The hospital, which began as a dispensary in 1956, was founded by Ariyawansa Jayathilleke. The residents, who claim the dispensary went through a long period of neglect when it was run by the village council, say they want a new four-storey hospital building with about 100 beds, with all necessary facilities. They also want a separate ward with at least 20 beds for the exclusive use of the large community of Buddhist monks attached to the 15 temples in the Ratgama area.
The residents have pointed out that the Ratgama population has swelled in recent years with the arrival of an additional 1,300 families, who moved into the area after their homes were destroyed in the 2004 tsunami.
The residents say they would like to see the Ratgama hospital founder Ariyawansa Jayathileke’s memory honoured with a renovated, upgraded hospital that the community could be proud of.