Health Ministry insists no discrimination despite incident at Lady Ridgeway

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

The Health Ministry insisted that there was no discrimination when administering the Covishield AstraZeneca vaccine, despite an incident which occurred at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH) in Colombo today.

The Covishield AstraZeneca vaccine was administered to a select group of people at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children today.

Large crowds stormed the hospital on hearing that the second dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine was being administered to people but most of them had to return home disappointed.

Hospital sources told Colombo Gazette that the vaccination process was organized by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA).

Sources said the vaccination process was held to inoculate family members of health staff and the candidates were selected by the GMOA.

However, sources said that outsiders were also included in the list of candidates selected to receive the second jab.

Hospital sources added that the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo was not involved in the vaccination drive.

They said the hospital had only provided the premises to operate as a vaccination centre as instructed by the Health Ministry.

Earlier today, Public Health Inspectors launched a strike claiming that the GMOA had allegedly given remaining AstraZeneca vaccines to their kith and kin.

PHI Association Secretary Mahinda Balasooriya told Colombo Gazette the vaccines had been administered, violating the normal procedure followed by the Ministry of Health.

Sri Lanka is currently facing a shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccine after the Serum Institute of India suspended delivery due to a new outbreak of the virus in India.

Deputy Director-General at the Ministry of Health Dr. Hemantha Herath told Colombo Gazette the incident had unfolded due to the mishandling of the situation and misinformation.

He said the Health Ministry will never discriminate against health workers and immediate action has been taken to rectify the situation.

Dr. Herath also said that the strike will not have an impact on the coronavirus containment process of the Health Ministry underway to curtail the spread of the third wave in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)

13 COMMENTS

  1. I was there in the queue to recieve the vaccine at LRH.It was well organized and given the vaccines to the general public above 30 yrs ,parents of health care workers not only doctors,Nurses,Assistants and PHIs but the technical staff directly handling patients.This hospital currently has two wards of CoViD patients but most of other wards has suspected patients with CoViD.Staff work in full strength .So they have to go home after the duty.

  2. These alegations are made mainly base on false information and having some vested interests. As a HCW attached to the LRH I can assure that it was a well organised event and nothing happened what the media is trying to highlighted using some TU leaders. As usual here also we were observing how the community, both some of the media and some parts of the public behaving and waiting to act against the healthcare system of this country. As the healthcare workers of the country we become really disappointed and frustrated when we turned round and see to whom we are trying to take care of risking the lives of ourselves as well as the lives of our close ones.

  3. I’m a resident of Colombo municipal council
    and received the 2and dose of Covishield vaccine on 25th of May at LRH. Though there were large queues all received the vaccine. O

  4. I was at LRH. Saw the process. It was not olnly docters family memeber but also all other heath care warkers and families were vaccinated.
    Thats true GMOA has lead the process to start vaccination of heath care providers families after repeated requests to Ministry as it is importent to ensure saftey of Filies of staff whrn they go home after work with covid and suspected patients.

  5. I witnessed this as i was there to receive the vaccine.as i saw there were nurses,junior staff,PHI s and all the other catagories including their family members.people from public were also there and they allanaged to get the 2nd dose of covishield vaccine.this was really well organized.i appriciate their hard work as LRH is doing a great job in giving a good quality service to the country.they are the once who are working closely with covid patients,covid suspected patients and also doing surgeries on covid patients.so nobody can say its unfair to vaccinate their family members who are the most vulnerable pepeople.we should encourage them rather than trying to critisizing and blaming.

  6. I too patiently waited in LRH queue to get the vaccination. Hats off for all the health staff members who contributed to the smooth process ensuring everyone’s safety.

  7. We are the tertiary care canter for children in Sri Lanka.
    Currently there are covid isolated wards and other wards also suspecting covid patients.
    We serve all those kids with out any discrimination. And few doctors has lost their parents up to now.
    This is a national disaster and we need to work hard as a leading role here. To do that we must protect our relatives, as we are going home after work. All of us do not have quarters to stay, separated from the family.
    LRH vaccination programme was successfully done and hats off to the organisers.

  8. There is no discrimination in the process or there is nothing to blame doctors in this process ..as a union #GMOA informed this issue in March to government n said all health care workers immediate family need the 2nd dose of AstraZeneca as they all are coming under risk category.we saw there were multiple VIPs n politically influential people are giving the vaccine to their kith n kin ,and doctors who Are handling COVID cases daily don’t get any vaccination for their immediate families who under direct risk .So if there is vaccination done for doctors family then it’s justified as they n their immediate families need full protection n peace of mind to work.. if there is irregularities happen n given to outsiders other than the immediate family , then only need to investigate..other wise it’s government mistake who don’t organize this n didn’t plan for all who need the 2nd dose ..if Some one telling there is no guidelines under WHO for this , then they must tell what are the things done as per WHO in our country till now ?

  9. It was a great decision that made to vaccinate health care worker’s family members and provide them protection… we highly appreciate this effort of GMOA….

  10. Although this was organized by the GMOA LRH branch union, most of medical and non medical staff members benefited by the program. I think most of the outsiders who came also had the vaccine.
    It’s a well organized program and my salute for GMOA LRH , organizers and participants in this event.

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