Linear accelerators worth more than a billion rupees still in original packingo

Linear accelerators worth more than a billion rupees still in original packingo

Written by Nathasha De Alwis

19 May, 2018 | 11:30 pm

23COLOMBO (News 1st) – At a time when authorities boast about a progressive health service in the country, reports are surfacing about medical equipment worth millions are going to waste.

A linear accelerator is a device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for cancer patients, this is a a device that costs more than 350 Million Rupees.

When one visits the Apeksha Hospital in Maharagama, one can understand why such a device is of paramount importance to Sri Lanka.

Two linear accelerators have been placed at the Apeksha Hospital in Maharagama and around 160 patients are treated using these devices daily.

Even though they are treated daily, a patient must be on the Apeksha Hospital’s waiting list for four months to use the device for treatment.

If a patient is to be treated from such a device from the private sector, he or she has to spend over 500,000 rupees for a single treatment.

Three important linear accelerators were imported to the country around 02 years ago. Two devices were given to the Cancer Units of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital and the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital.

However, these devices are in their original packing even today as they have not been put into operation.

According to the Director of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Dr. Jayampathi Senanayake, a linear accelerator was brought and the required infrastructure is being developed. She added that they hope to put the device into operation in the coming two months.

A building was constructed at the Tellippalai Cancer Hospital to facilitate linear accelerator, however, a spokesperson from the Hospital said they are yet to receive a linear accelerator.

If this is so, where is the linear accelerator that was to be given to the Tellippalai Cancer Hospital?

The linear accelerators which could possibly save the lives of cancer patients were imported to the country two years ago and are still not being used – does this not expose the inefficiency of the local health authorities?


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