Protests over Jaffna hospital security zone
[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 July 2002, 22:09 GMT]
The ban imposed by the Sri Lankan military on civlian use of the roads around Jaffna teaching hospital, which presently come under the high security zone, should be removed immediately as it causes severe hardship to patients and medical staff, the visiting Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Reggie Perera was told Saturday at a conference.
The Ministry Secretary met medical officers, doctors and administrators at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital Saturday to hear their views on the shortcomings and needs of the institution. The headquarters of a Sri Lanka Army Brigade is in this high security zone.
The medical officers made a plea to the Ministry Secretary that at least for the time being ambulances should be allowed to use these roads to avoid deaths due to the delay in bringing critical patients for medical attention.
The roads - Victoria Road and Clock Tower road -just behind the Jaffna Teaching Hospital are now barricaded and barred fromuse by the public. The SLA occupies Ashok Hotel and Gnanams Hotel located in the high security zone.
Now medical officers and ambulances use roads that are far away from Jaffna hospital causing delay in admitting serious patients in time, the delegation told the Ministry Secretary.
The Health Ministry Secretary arrived Jaffna Saturday on a two-day official tour to review the health problem in Jaffna district. Dr. Reggie Perera will visit other hospitals in the peninsula Sunday.