I am assertive twice – Batticaloa Teaching Hospital

Posted Thursday January 08, 2015 by Hazel Durbridge

I had to be assertive twice today. I had to go back to the shop where a guy had given me half a note yesterday. I didn’t hold out much hope, but he located the other half then just gave me a new one which impressed me. The next time I had to insist with my work colleague that I needed a bit of a geographic induction to the district as he was backpedalling on his promises from yesterday which is a bit disappointing. I won’t hold my breath.

Finally I located the hospital as I need to get the follow up jab this week. It is grim despite being a national teaching hospital – worse than Africa. This may be that there were so few people in African hospitals because they couldn’t afford any treatment so it was always easy to get seen and very clean and tidy. Basically the head honcho just told me to come and find him in his office, but I won’t if I can help it. I located their outpatient bit and will queue with the masses.

I lost the will to live with Adele and ‘The Will to Freedom’. In the end the poor old Tamil fighters asked her to go in a convent as wandering around with the leaders put them all in danger as her white face was so easily recognisable, which made sense, but she wasn’t having any. I guess you need a big ego to be in a resistance movement. However, she wrote one lovely thing about her marriage to her husband that I liked. She said, ‘My husband …. anchored me in unconventionality, and provided me with an unfettered emotional security in a way that enriched my life more than I could have possibly imagined or expected’.


In Batticaloa District there is 1 Teaching Hospital. This has 37 wards and 931 beds. It deals with approximately 650 outpatients a day and 800 surgical procedures every month.

In addition there are 4 Base hospitals, 3 District Hospitals, 9 Rural Hospitals, 1 Peripheral Hospital and 3 Central Dispensary & Maternity in the District.

Batticaloa Teaching Hospital’s ability to meet the needs of its patients is limited by the constraints of the building. Although the building is only 40 years old, it is made of concrete, which has not aged well in the Sri Lankan climate. There is plenty of land to extend into. They have an excellent skill base with 31 specialist consultants who are currently unable to function at optimum level as they do not have the facilities in which to practice. For example they have a tiny mortuary for the whole of Batticaloa and can only keep bodies for two days as they do not have a cooling system. Patients get seen by a specialist here and then have to be transferred to Colombo or other centres for on-going treatment.

Batticaloa District Development Plan DRAFT 2013

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