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Jaffna Hospital faces crisis due to shortage of ministry funds

[TamilNet, Sunday, 5 April 2009 09:34 No Comment]

Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) is facing a crisis due its unpaid dues to Sri Lanka Electricity Board (SLEB) as the funds allocated to it by Sri Lanka Health Ministry has not been released, sources in Jaffna said. SLEB Jaffna is reported to be taking steps to suspend electricity supply to JTH as nearly 50 million rupees remain unpaid by JTH as dues. Meanwhile, JTH is experiencing severe difficulties due to want of funds as its oxygen cylinder refilling machine and water distilling plant are in disrepair besides the lack of medicines, x-ray films, all in combination, have seriously impeded the efficient functioning of JTH, the sources added.

Construction projects intended to improve the standard of JTH which caters to the needs of nearly 600,000 people of Jaffna peninsula are feared to be cancelled as contractors who completed their projects for JTH last year are not paid their dues amounting to nearly 86 million rupees as allocation made by the Health Ministry has not been released.

JTH has to pay nearly 3 million rupees monthly as electricity charges to SLEB Jaffna and payment has not been made by JTH for many years including last year. Hence, electricity supply to JTH may be suspended any time, the sources added.

Medical officers in JTH are forced to direct patients to buy preventive medicines as well as other medicines from traders in the open market as they are not available in JTH.

All building development projects of JTH have been suspended except the construction of patients’ ward which is carried out by NECORD in keeping with the contract entered earlier.

Though the Ministry of Health has announced an allocation of funds to JTH it is unable to keep to its assurances due to the economic set back experienced by the government, the sources further said.

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