Patients, staff evacuated from Puthukudiruppu Hospital

All 502 patients and the staff of 180 of the Puthukudiruppu Base Hospital, vulnerable to crossfire between the security forces and the LTTE, were evacuated by yesterday (5) to several rural hospitals in the liberated areas of Mullaitivu. The evacuation was carried out by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) on a request from Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage, the Health Ministry said.

Ministry spokesman W. Wanninayaka said that the Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Kahandaliyanage had acted on a request by Mullativu’s Regional Service Director as the Government had instructed the security forces to launch offensives against the LTTE without causing any harm to civilians. But as the security forces had commenced offensives against the LTTE, the Puthukuduirruppu base hospital could become vulnerable to offensives by both parties, Wanninayake said.

The Health Ministry had also assured that patients evacuated to rural hospitals would receive treatment and obtain their drugs as before since the Ministry had supplied all necessary drugs, doctors, nurses and paramedics to hospitals in the liberated areas of Mullaitivu.

The Vavuniya General hospital is well-equipped with medical and nursing personnel, drugs and medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders and ventilators to treat security forces personnel and IDPs fleeing from uncleared areas with injuries and health complications, he said.

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