Medi-snippets: Patients must come first | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Patients must come first

Medical professionals must have correct goals that ensure patients’ needs and their health care come first, the Sri Lanka Orthopaedic Association (SLOA) President Dr Sunil Wijaysinghe was quoted as saying at the inauguration of the 11th Annual Academic Sessions of the SLOC last week, where he reportedly called for professionalism at all times along with evidence based practice and adequate skills while maintaining ethical standards in the orthopaedic field.

Tracing the improvements in orthopaedic care delivery over the years Dr Wijayasinghe was quoted as saying that in 1992 there were only 10 orthopaedic surgeons serving 17.5 million people . However, by 2019, 27 years later , there are 83 orthopaedic surgeons for 22 million people with one surgeon per 265,000. The Association said Orthopaedics in Sri Lanka was an important juncture with new sub specialities in the offing such as adult reconstruction and pelvic acetabular fractures, orthopaedic oncology, foot and ankle, upper limb, etc. In this context, the Association reiterated, with society undergoing rapid transformation and changing goals and technological aids and having more access to information, the patient should come first. It was also pointed out that members should not lose their common sense and humane approach when delivering patient care.

Speaking on the same occasion, Guest of Honour Dr. M. Vasantha Perera was quoted as saying that over the last four decades, members of the SLOA had provided leadership and guidance in the training of orthopaedic surgeons, adding that Sri Lanka could expect to have around 140 orthopaedic surgeons soon, which gives a ratio of one orthopaedic surgeon for 100,000 people. The internationally recognised ratio is said to be 1 to 25,000 population

Air Pollution not due to Delhi smog but vehicular emissions

With claims that the Delhi smog was to blame for the heightened air pollution, especially, in Colombo continuing to swirl, supported by various global environmentalists, Health Ministry officials have denied there was any direct link for the rising air pollution levels in Colombo due to the heavy smog that has enveloped the Indian sub continent. He noted that while air pollution levels here were lower than in India, compared to some European countries it was still very high.

In a telephone interview with the Sunday Observer, Director Environmental, Occupational, Health and Food Safety Dr Thilak Siriwardana said , “Air pollution is not something new in Colombo which is one of the most densely populated cities of the country, where most people do not observe basic rules for garbage disposal etc. However, it has spiked in recent years due largely to vehicular emissions and a number of other polluting agents. Asked what they were, he said, “Despite our warning them, people keep burning polythene and other non degradable materials.

When you burn polythene or plastic it can cause several serious non communicable diseases such as, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problems and stroke. Although these are long term effects they should be made aware that once afflicted by them there is no turning back.”

He said the public should instead separate their waste into different containers and recycle them as compost. This is the only solution, he noted.

Food Inspections reveal several outdated items

With the season just begun, food inspectors of both, the Health Ministry and the Public Health Services Union (PHSU) have begun visiting warehouses, wayside eateries and restaurants, as well as supermarkets and hotels throughout the island to check outdated foods, food not properly stored and food that is hygienically served. Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) sources have reportedly said that several persons who have violated food laws have been warned and prosecuted. Food inspectors told the newspaper that some outdated cake ingredients such as dates, plums and cadjunuts, as well as canned fish which had been re-labelled with new expiry dates had been found to have been sold in bulk to wholesale traders. They warned the public not to buy any ingredients except from shops they usually patronised or from those that sold branded items.

“See that they carry labels with addresses, names and the ingredients used. Beware of adulterated spices and cooking oils that claim to be hundred percent original. Check and re check before purchasing them”, they said.