Electric three wheeler, trolley for Horana hospital | Sunday Observer

Electric three wheeler, trolley for Horana hospital

Electric three wheeler
Electric three wheeler

Last year, the Horana Base Hospital was gifted with two inventions, an electronic three-wheeler and an electronic trolley to carry patients to the wards and the theatre. The architects of these two innovations were Amaralal Karunarathne, a businessman, Malinka Gunasekara, a Training Instructor at Toyota Ltd and Jinasoma Kalubowila, a mechanic.

Amaralal Karunarathne who took prominence in the inventions explained how they made progress in the projects spending three months on each. “First we introduced the electric three-wheeler on January 6, 2018 to be used when admitting patients to the hospital, for which project we spent Rs 350,000. After about 10 trials, including tests of the handle and the motor, we donated the vehicle to the hospital. The three-wheeler is built following the system of a sea plane tractor, consisting four 12V rechargeable batteries which after four or five hours of charging can travel 100km. It has a 40/50kmph speed but since the riding is to be in the hospital corridors we did the trials at a 10kmph speed. It can carry two patients at a time along with the driver”.

“Two to three hundred patients are admitted to the hospital daily, so that it’s difficult for one staff member to carry 25 to 30 patients a day. Using the electric three-wheeler, two patients could be admitted to the wards within five minutes” he said. In terms of the safety and the comfort of the patients, Karunarathne said, both vehicles can be recommended to carry even a critical patient. The Nagoda, Rathnapura, Anuradhapura, Kalutara and Avissawella hospitals have made requests for such vehicles, but since production costs are high, Karunarathne said they needed a proper source of funding to undertake supplies to other hospitals.

“The benefits of the projects have been greatly appreciated by the public, but unfortunately, there has been no support from the Government,” Karunarathne, who is the Secretary of the Hospital Committee said. “ When we met once a month, we discussed the issue of patients having to linger in the hospital until they are taken to the wards. We realised that the issue cannot be addressed by increasing the staff,” he added. “Malinka and I are engaged in a postgraduate study related to such inventions at the University of Sri Jayawardanapura. Last year we went on an educational tour to China and got the opportunity to study electric motors. Thereafter, we worked on improving the project of the three-wheeler and updated it with the latest knowledge we gained there,” he said.

“The electric trolley was invented in April last year for which we spent Rs 350,000 funded by The Health and Hospital Services Committee and some friends. I too invested some of my money in the project,” he said.

Commenting on the two inventions, Dr. Kalubowila, Director, Horana Base Hospital said, “There is a distance of about 1km from the OPD to a ward which the patients find difficult to travel. With this electric three-wheeler it’s easier for the staff and the patients, which is now a five minute ride to the ward. We can also fix the oxygen tanks in the three-wheeler and the vehicles are created with the capacity to ascend and descend hospital corridors in slopes and do not emit any smoke. The Hospital Development Committee, Hospital and Health Services Organization and the ‘Subasara’ Trust Fund are the stakeholders of these invaluable projects. Their next project focuses on a vehicle in which the oxygen tanks can be fixed and carried easily” he added.

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