Denied timely hospital care, child dies of dengue

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

A 14 -year-old student of Maharagama Janadhipathi Vidyalaya, Kawisha Wickremaratne, who was rushed to the Sri Jayewardenepura hospital with dengue on May 5, was refused admission by the two lady doctors attached to its OPD and the child died five days later at a private hospital.

 On the advice of a senior physician the student had been admitted to a private hospital, where he died after five days.

 Sri Jayewardenepura hospital Director Dr. S. Gamage, contacted for comment, maintained that the child had been brought to the Sri Jayewardenepura hospital OPD on May 5 as he was suffering from dengue shock. Unfortunately the entire nursing staff was on strike and all the doctors were busy treating the patients who were already there. Some doctors were even pushing stretchers.

 He said that the doctors at the OPD had politely told the parents of the student that as the nurses were on strike they had better get their son admitted to another hospital as soon as possible.

Dr. Gamage said: "On May 5 all the nurses were on strike. We had no nurses to look after the patients. The OPD doctors had refused to admit the teenager due to non-availability of nurses. Had the student been admitted to the hospital, the life of the student could have been saved."

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