Pannipitiya Nursing Home patients in quandary
By Saundarya Wellaboda and Dilanthi Jayamanne
The patients who received dialysis treatment at the Pannipitiya Nursing Home were in a quandary as they were unable to continue with their treatment due to not being accepted by any other hospital owing to COVID-19 fears, after the Nursing Home was quarantined.
The Nursing Home was placed under quarantine at the beginning of this week due to a suspected COVID-19 patient from Piliyandala visiting the hospital.
Suneth Liyanage, whose 68-year-old father undergoes dialysis every two days, was among those affected by the situation. When contacted, he claimed that all other hospitals refused carrying out dialysis for his father claiming that his father too, may have been infected with COVID-19 since he was being treated at the Pannipitiya Nursing Home. Liyanage further said that his father's condition was worsening by the day because he is not able to receive treatment from any hospital and claimed that even patients who are much younger to his father were suffering greatly from renal disease.
He said that he met a top Police official to request assistance with regard to his father's health condition but the official had claimed that he had no authority to get involved unless the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH) advices him to do so. Liyanage claimed the MOH when approached had said they and the Police official were from two different Departments and that therefore, the MOH could not instruct the official to take any actions either.
Liyanage noted that he had then been compelled to go to the Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila and ask for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to be done on his father to make sure that his father is not infected with COVID-19 and claimed however that the Hospital had said that there was no need for such a test as the patient from Piliyandala had tested negative at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).
"They informed me that the Piliyandala patient who had tested COVID-19 positive at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital had tested negative in all the tests carried out at the NIID," he said.
Liyanage warned that if authorities continue to neglect his requests, he was going to protest until he is given a solution that would ensure his father's health and safety.
Meanwhile, when contacted, officials at the Pannipitiya Nursing Home noted that it still remains closed due to being placed under quarantine and added that they are not sure when they could begin dialysis treatment again. However, Health Deputy Director General, Paba Palihawadana when contacted noted that the Nursing Home had been opened.