Matara Chest Clinic
No lab personnel: Equipment gathers dust patients suffer

Equipment worth millions of rupees donated by foreign governments for setting up a medical laboratory at the Matara (Ramya Mohotti) Chest Clinic gathers dust and hundreds of chest patients and others who need tests done there undergo immense difficulties as heath authorities have not yet appointed a medical laboratory technologist.

An X-ray machine is also lying idle at this clinic for want of a technician.

The Chest Clinic comes under the purview of the Southern Provincial Council.

Politicians of both the PA and the UNF including the former Chief Minister and the incumbent Chief Minister have called upon the health authorities to appoint personnel required by the Clinic.

UNF MP for Matara, Mr. Justin Galappatti has brought this matter to the notice of Deputy Minister of Health Sajith Premadasa, who has ordered the health authorities to provide a medical laboratory technologist immediately.

But no action has yet been taken and patients continue to suffer.

Earlier, several PA politicians too including Minister Mangala Samaraweera had urged the authorities to appoint a lab technologist.

As these tests are not done at the Chest Clinic, patients as well as others who need tests done are compelled to go to the Matara General Hospital and spend days to get reports. For the hospital laboratory is burdened with intra institutional requirements, or go to private institutions.

Speaking to The Island, Mr. Galappatti, who has taken a keen interest in uplifting health facilities in the Matara district, said he was puzzled by the lackadaisical attitude of some heath officials in this regard, which he said, had stood in his way in getting a technologist appointed.

He said he had taken up the matter with the Deputy Minister of Health, who had instructed the provincial health officials to immediately assign the personnel.

He said he had requested Mr. Premadasa at least to temporarily attach a technologist to help the patients and to prevent the valuable equipment going waste.