SLA delays plague Vanni patients travelling to Vavuniyaa
[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 December 2007, 19:13 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops and Intelligence personnel at Oamanthai check point stop ambulances carrying patients from Vanni to Vavuniya hospital and force them to get down, subject them to rigorous checking, and then transport in SLA- operated ambulances to Vavuniyaa. Several pregnant women going for confinement have had to wait for hours before they had space allocated in the SLA ambulance, civil society sources in Vanni said.
All patients except those on stretchers are forced to alight and undergo the same procedures adopted for normal persons.
Nearly 45 patients from the General hospitals in Ki’linochchii, Mullaitheevu and from Puthukkudiyiruppu regional hospital in Vanni are transported to Vavuniyaa hospital for further treatment daily.
The patients include expectant mothers, children, women and the elderly.
Each ambulance arriving from Vavuniyaa transports up to ten patients. After the patients alight from the ambulance at SLA check point in Oamanthai only three of them are allowed into the SLA operated ambulances and taken to Vavuniyaa, escorted by armed SLA troopers, sources said.
The rest of the patients including those requiring emergency treatment have to wait at the check point awaiting the arrival of the next SLA-operated ambulance from Vavuniyaa.
The ambulances which brought patients up to Omanthai are forced to wait long hours till the army operated ambulances return from Vavuniyaa.