Infant death at Galaha hospital: Provincial health administration blamed

By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY: Top officials of the Central Province Department of Health were blamed, at the Central Provincial Council meeting, on Tuesday, for the recent crisis at the Galaha hospital following the death of an infant.

Central Province Minister of Health and Indigenous Minister Bandula Yalegama told the meeting that the high ranking administrative officers of the Department of Provincial Health had not responded to a spate of complaints in respect of the Galaha Hospital until the trouble erupted recently.

Health services in the Central Province had deteriorated, Provincial Health Minister Bandula Yalegama told the council meeting chaired by Chairman L. D. Nimalasiri.

 Minister Yalegama was responding to complaints against the Galaha hospital tragedy last week. 

Provincial Minister Yalegama alleged that high ranking officers of the Health Department had neglected their duties and responsibilities. Had they taken prompt action regarding complaints the recent crisis could have been averted, Yalegama said. 

The Provincial Department of Health should also take responsibility for the damage caused to the hospital and loss of equipment as a result of mob rampage, the minister said.

 Minister Yalegama said that two investigations were being conducted into the Galaha hospital incident, one by the Minister of Health of the Government and the other by the Provincial Ministry in addition to a police probe. 

Jamaldeen Jailabdeen, UNP member of the Provincial Council said that unfortunate incident could have been easily avoided if the medical staff responded to the emergency swiftly.

The ultimate result had been the death of a child and heavy damage to the hospital in addition to the arrest of some villagers.

Members R. Rajaratnam, D. Madiyunga Rajah and Shanthini Kongahage called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

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