OK, so the weirdest thing just happened. Apparently Suji, the Canadian elective student who’s here with me was trying to take a photo of the hospital and ended up getting chased by the hospital guards (who, by the by, carry guns). She just came in here, visibly shaken and crying. How absolutely bizarre. I mean, I guess they would have misinterpreted what she was doing as a security risk, but it seems rather callous of them. Suddenly I feel a lot less happy to be here. Things like that just end up increasing your sense of alienation.
So, in Sri Lanka, there is often overcrowding in hospitals, and patients end up with no bed, either on the floor or in chairs. A couple of days ago, a man who was in the “local ICU” (like a Coronary Care Unit, but in the ward itself) who had had a heart attack was moved to one of the beds in the ward, thus replacing a patient with valve disease. A loud argument erupted between the two patients when this happened, the man who was losing his bed accusing the other man of deliberately taking his bed and being ungrateful.
I now also understand why they have male and female wards. It’s because rather than having rooms of 2-4 patients, basically the whole ward is open, with many beds and pretty much zero privacy. There are also mosquito nets above each bed, to prevent the spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria.