Fewer accidents, more fatalities
The number of patients admitted to government hospitals following
accidents has dropped, but deaths from such accidents have increased,
National Hospital sources said.
“Earlier we had around 100 accident victims being brought to our
wards daily. The numbers have now dropped to about 75 a day. Our concern
is that the number of deaths resulting from accidents has increased”,
Deputy Director, Accident Service National Hospital, Colombo, Dr Cyril
de Silva told the Sunday Observer.
“Around one or two people are dead on admission or are beyond help to
save them despite our efforts. Many of these accidents are preventable”,
he said. Road accidents now top hospital admissions. Dr de Silva said
that the number of accidents, especially road accidents had dropped due
to the islandwide awareness and educational programs which the Health
Ministry conducted with the help of the police.
“These programs don’t merely focus on accident prevention. They also
include other important factors such as preventing non communicable
disease for the benefit of the public.
Training programs for traffic police include not only guidelines and
demonstrations on how to prevent accidents but also how to handle a
situation following road accidents”.
The response to this multi-disciplinary approach has been
encouraging”, he said.
The Health Ministry was also conducting outreach programs islandwide
for students, motorists and pedestrians. “Our goal is to have zero
fatalities and reduce the number of accidents significantly in the
future. This can be done with the support of the public“, he said.
According to police statistics around 42,000 road accidents were
recorded in 2012, with the number dropping to 37,500 last year.