Sri Lanka expels MSF from Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 October 2006, 15:56 GMT]
Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) expelled three medical specialists of Médecins Sans Frontiérs (MSF) (France) serving in Point Pedro Manthikai Government hospital in Vadamardchchi Sunday, medical sources said. The hospital fell inside newly extended High Security Zone (HSZ) declared by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) after Aug 11 when clashes erupted in the Jaffna peninsula between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the SLA, said Manthikai hospital sources.

The expelled MSF medical team, consisting of a child specialist and an anesthetist, both Americans, and a medical coordinator were critical to the functioning of the hospital as it had only a single doctor where 17 are required to meet the needs of the peninsula, added the sources.

Though only patients in serious condition are allowed treatment at the Manthikai hospital, the service of the MSF was invaluable, hospital sources said.

The expelling of the MSF team has resulted in the complete stoppage of emergency surgery operations and essential child medical treatment at the hospital, said medical sources.

MSF working at Manthikai hospital after 1987 left when the Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2002 and returned on request made in the wake of tsunami diaster.

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