A’pura Kidney transplant unit shut down

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Kidney transplant operations have come to a complete halt, at the Anuradhapura Kidney Transplant Unit (AKTU), due to a shortage of doctors to assist the Consultant Surgeon there.

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday said that the Health Ministry had agreed to provide the required number of doctors to the AKTU so that operations could be resumed. As the North Central Province was the worst affected by the chronic kidney disease, the shutting down of the transplant unit, in the biggest town there, had caused hardships to patients, he said.

GMOA Transfer Board Officer Dr. Timothy Wickramasinghe said that Kidney Transplant surgeries had come to an abrupt halt at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital as there were not enough doctors to assist in kidney transplant surgeries. The matter had been discussed with the Director General Health Services (DGHS), who had agreed to assign doctors as early as possible., he said.

A hospital spokesman said discussions had been held on the issue and several appeals made to the Health Ministry to provide the required number of doctors to assist in Kidney transplant surgeries but in vain.

He said that at least five doctors were needed to assist the surgeon during an operation, whereas the consultant surgeon had been forced to operate with only three. However, those three, too, had been transferred and there was only one doctor to assist the surgeon.

Hospital Director Dr. Wijedasa Atapattu, when contacted, confirmed that the operations had been stopped.

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