It is good to be able to write in praise and not moan the eternal protests, nor express venom at the protestors, doctors included, and those instigating constant trouble.
I write this letter at the request of a friend whose husband was warded at the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital. She first took him to a private hospital, where he had worked as a doctor. She was asked to take him home about twelve hours later, with no treatment given, no interest taken. Maybe the doctors felt he was terminally ill and the best was to allow him to fade away. That is not what close relatives of the patient desired, but the attention that was not given. However the charge for being on a bed in that very popular private hospital from 11.00 am to 6.00 p m was Rs 25,000.
The next day she admitted the patient to Ward 5 of the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, where they immediately started intensive investigation and treatment. He became better and in a couple of days he was fit enough to go home; not perfectly well but able to take food. A couple of days later, he again seemed worse, so she re-entered him to the Kalubowila Hospital, again to Ward 5. They re-started investigations and told her that they had found out what exactly was wrong with him. Before proper treatment could be started, though she bought the injections ordered, he died.
What she wanted this writer to emphasise was how dedicated, how concerned, how thorough the doctors at Kalubowila were, always working as a team. They examined the patient and his test results as a team and prescribed as a team. The nurses and attendants too were kind and willing to be of help. She studied their behavior with other patients and how the doctors’ spent time with them, to verify whether her husband, a medical professional, was given better attention. She concluded this was not the case. What she says is patients die, but the patient and more so his near and dear, should be given the consolation the best treatment was given. This was done in the case of my friend’s husband, with no bills to pay to the hospital.
She also found the ambulance service she phoned for, about six times, excellent. This is the service with call number 1990 – Indian ambulances commissioned by the present Minister of Health with Sri Lankan medical personnel, including a doctor, a nurse and nurse aides. They were trained in India, she was told, the driver included, who knew the basics of emergency medical action. They were considerate and capable; she saw them revive her husband once, with emergency first aid. All this at no cost, thanks to the present government !