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The General Hospital of Sri Lanka

Recently I had to visit the General Hospital (GH) as my father under went a minor operation in one of the wards. I was totally amazed about the way the hospital is maintained and administered. I never expected a fully government administration to do such a marvelous job.

We went there around 6.30 in the morning. It was a Saturday and there was a sitting place for the patients who were to be admitted. Two security guards made sure that nobody skips the queue. One was male and the other was a female. The doctor who had the authority to allow patients in came at 7.00 sharp. Nobody wasted a minute. After the doctors approval we went to another counter where we had to register personal information. At all the places there were enough seating facilities. On my way to here and there I just had a look at the toilets as they are really shitty in public places. But I noticed toilets at general hospital are really clean and usable even though they looked a bit old. Another good thing I noticed was the landscaping. All the credit should go to the director (Dr. Hector Weerasinghe) and the administration as I saw the director was telling the media that they have initiated a project to landscape the place with their own money and strength.

The environment was really cool with friendly people and with well maintained facilities. These days most of the people are not worried about landscaping and friendly approach to the people who come to get something done. We have been visiting a famous private hospital in Colombo. I thought that hospital is far better than the general hospital. But I learnt that I was totally wrong. After listening to what my father said (He stayed there one whole day) and what I saw no hospital in Sri Lanka would pass the general hospital. In that private hospital most of their nurses and the staff are cheaply hired people. They are no where when compared to the well trained well experienced staff at the GH. My father said well equipped theatres at the GH are the best theatres he has ever seen. Even the doctors are well experienced as they treat thousands of patients. The wards, beds, equipments and the service were better than in private hospitals.

My father consulted a doctor (Dr. Punchihewa) at the private hospital which I mentioned earlier. He should have asked my father to admit there and he could have earned some 20-30 thousand as the charge. But he didn’t do that. Instead he asked my father to admit his ward at the GH.

That’s how we went there. Later we learnt that the operation would have cost some 40-50 thousand rupees if we did it at that private hospital.

These days the private hospitals are on alert to suck money from people. Even for fever they try to admit the patient to the ICU. They are very much on back foot when it comes to discharging because they are loosing a customer. Even though we pay sometimes the service is really bad. Some of the staff is not qualified and they don’t understand what they do. They just chat all the time and they are pissed off when the patients need their help which should be their real job. The administration just keeps them as they are cheap. Even the doctors charge very unfair amounts without even properly visiting the patients.

The GH is growing at a great speed. A new 8 storey building is coming up with a facility to land choppers on the top. I heard the hospital land is around 8 acres. The only bad thing I saw was no parking facilities. But it’s fare as most of the people visiting the hospital are poor general public. I noticed it by looking at them. It really made me feel so bad about how we live. Among those people there were hundreds who had slept the last night on the benches along the either sided of the hospital road. But there were enough space on cross roads where we could park the vehicle. Besides security reasons would have made a parking facility unwanted.

That visit really made me feel something good about our country and its people. From the smallest staff member up to the highest designation at the GH our nation should be thankful and I think the service they provide to the people who are so badly in need and who are helpless is so great that it would cause the staff great achievements morally or spiritually.

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