One of Sri Lanka’s premier base hospitals faces surgical crisis

The management of Homagama Base Hospital in Sri Lanka has been forced to halt all major surgeries at the facility due to an acute shortage of surgeons. The predicament arose following the departure of two crucial consultants assigned to the hospital, leaving a void in its surgical capabilities.

Sources revealed that Dr. D. Leelaratne and Dr. Dhammika Wickramasekara, who were serving as surgeons, have both left the hospital for different reasons. Dr. Dhammika retired in June of the previous year and secured a position in the United Kingdom, consequently ending his tenure at the hospital. 

However, he continued to work until the end of December, responding to a Health Ministry request to provide coverage for the surgical unit. Adding to the complexity of the situation, Dr. Leelaratne migrated two months ago, further exacerbating the shortage of skilled surgical staff. The impact of these departures was intensified as attached registrars also left the hospital due to the absence of a supervisor.

As a result, the hospital has been compelled to suspend all major surgeries, redirecting them to the Colombo National Hospital. Only minor surgeries, such as wound suturing, continue to be performed at the Homagama Base Hospital.

Addressing the issue, a senior official from the Health Ministry acknowledged the severity of the situation and assured that efforts are underway to find suitable replacements. However, the official also noted that the process may take a considerable amount of time.

Homagama Hospital Director, Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara, declined to comment on the matter, citing directives from the Health Ministry that prohibit public officials from making statements to the media.