Ship begins medical work under SLN restrictions

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 February 2005, 14:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) permitted the Greek Hospital ship to start providing medical services Saturday morning with conditions imposed on number of patients treated per day and mandatory use of a temporary shelter where patients are to be transported before batches of maximim six patients are taken inside the ship for treatment, medical sources in Trincomalee said.

Greek ship resumes medical relief work
Mr.Irkalis Charmanidis, Deput Chief of Greek Mission
The passenger ship OCEAN MONARCH converted into a floating hospital arrived in Trincomalee harbour on February 5 on a humanitarian mission to serve tsunami victims in the Trincomalee district, and has remained idle for the last week awaiting approval from the Sri Lanka Government to begin providing medical services.

According to the conditions imposed by the SLN, Greek mission officials should come to the Trincomalee general hospital and transport minimum 25 patients daily to their floating hospital in their vehicles and should keep them in a house the SLN has provided at the Ashraff Jetty where the floating hospital is anchored. From there only six patients will be allowed at a time to enter the floating hospital. Greek authorities have been told to ensure that at no time more than six patients should be inside the vessel.

Agreeing to these conditions, Greek medical personnel commenced their humanitarian mission in Trincomalee. Mr.Iraklis Charmanidis, Deputy Chief of the Greek Mission Ship Saturday morning visited Trincomalee government general hospital and met its Medical Superintendent Dr. (Ms) Koushi Gnanagunalan and the Provincial Deputy Director of Health Services Dr.S.Abraham and discussed with them the modalities regarding the transportation of patients to the floating hospital.

Later Mr.Iraklis Charmanidis took in charge of the first batch of patients who came to obtain OPD treatment from the Trincomalee general hospital. Dr.Jagath Wimalaretna, senior medical officer of the hospital who is also fluent in all three languages accompanied the selected patients to the ship with Mr.Iraklis Charmanidis.



Greek ship resumes medical relief work
Mr.Irkalis Charmanidis, Deputy Chief of the Greek Mission (right extreme) discusses procedural matters with Medical Superintendent Dr.Ms Koushi Gnanagunalan, DPDHS Dr.S.Abraham, Dr.Jagath Wimalaretna in the hospital premises


Greek ship resumes medical relief work
Greek Mission Deputy Chief is with the first patient of the first batch to be taken to floating hospital
Greek ship resumes medical relief work
Patients being transported to floating hospital from Trincomalee hospital



Greek ship resumes medical relief work
A section of OPD patients in Trincomalee general hospital waiting to be transported to Greek floating ship

Since the arrival of floating hospital in east port, SLN authorities prevented Greek humanitarian mission from commencing its medical services by putting several conditions citing security of the Trincomalee harbour. Mr. Lozos, Ambassador for Greece to Sri Lanka spent six days in Trincomalee to resolve issues with the SLN authorities in commencing the humanitarian service.

He left Trincomalee Thursday without arriving at an agreement, sources said.

However following discussions held between Greek and SLN officials on Thursday and Friday the working solution was found. The floating hospital will be in Trincomalee for another five weeks providing medical services, sources said.

 

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