Do hospitalized patients get proper nutrition?

Everyone has the right to have an adequate diet. That applies to hospitalized patients as well. However, it remains a question as to whether the meals given to patients at state-run hospitals in Sri Lanka are adequate.

Normally, the hospital’s nutritionist should approve the menu for the patients, as it varies on the nature of illness of each and every patient. However, the Colombo National Hospital has only two menus. According to reports reaching us, one is for patients with diabetes, and the other is for patients who are not diabetic.

Kidney patients too, are given a normal diet

The CNH also supplies meals for the renal hospital at Maligawatte. Its residential patients are given a normal diet. Kidney patients are sensitive to the food and drinks they consume. Therefore, they should be given what they eat and drink very carefully.  For example, other patients should be given a piece of fish weighing 80 grams per patient, but for a kidney patient, it is only 18 grams, as approved at state hospitals.

Only the Kandy General Hospital provides a separate menu for kidney patients. So does, the IDH at Mulleriyawa, where there are 30 menus for the month.

Another question is if the patients are given the required quantity of food. Also, suppliers commit various irregularities. Reports reaching us say fish is supplied to the CNH mixed with between seven and 10 kilos of ice cubes. The weight of the ice cubes is added to the weight of the amount of fish. This adversely affects the nutrition of the patients. State hospitals are patronized by average citizens, while the affluent ones go to private hospitals. They are run with the tax money of the public, and we hope responsible authorities will pay attention to these matters.

-K. Wijayawardena-

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