Greek Hospital ship idles as SLN blocks patients
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 February 2005, 11:24 GMT]
The Greek floating hospital has been idling in Trincomalee harbour since it arrived Saturday morning following the restriction by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) allowing patients from the Trincomalee general hospital to the vessel citing security reasons. The passenger ship OCEAN MONARCH converted into a hospital with modern operating theatre and laboratories with a team of seventy member medical team is now anchored in the Ashraff Jetty awaiting instruction from Colombo government authorities to begin its mission, sources said.
Mr.Efstathios Lozos, Ambassador of Greece to Sri Lanka who arrived in Trincomalee Saturday has been staying on board the vessel and conducting negotiations with the SNL authorities and the Colombo government officials to sort out the problem. He is expected to leave to Colombo once the floating hospital commences its services, sources said.
Till Tuesday not a single patient is brought to the floating hospital for treatment because of the problem of transferring patients from the Trincomalee general hospital without the permission of the SLN authorities, said.
The floating hospital came to Trincomalee on a humanitarian mission to serve tsunami disaster victims of the district on an agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and Government of Greece, sources said.