Consultant surgeon suggests airlifting of patients to NHSL from far-flung areas for emergency surgeries



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Hospitals like the Colombo National Hospital had the facilities to conduct complex medical procedures like neurosurgery, and Sri Lanka must seriously consider airlifting patients who suffer serious accidents in rural areas to those hospitals, Dr. Kirthi Abayajeewa, consultant surgeon at the Colombo National Hospital said.

“We can’t establish such hospitals in each district. It’s not practical. Colombo National Hospital has a helipad. Helicopters can be kept anywhere in the country,” he said.

“This is a viable alternative to building hospitals all over,” he said, adding that the doctors attached to the Air Force were trained to transport patients on helicopters.

“We held a workshop with doctors involved in critical care recently. And we trained 30 doctors and 30 nurses on this. We should plan ahead. We should think 10 years ahead,” he said.