Today is Friday the 19th of September. I returned from the Polonnaruwa hospital. Sudath who works for me on my land, the 5 acres in Raja Ela, Hingurakgoda, was returning at 9pm last night with his 7month pregnant wife, on his motorbike, from a clinic near the hospital. A dog had suddenly crossed the road and both had fallen off the bike. They had superficial wounds to hands and legs and were taken by a trishaw to the hospital where they were admitted for observation and x-ray the following day.
What I wish to note is that soon after Sudath was admitted there were four other people who were brought into the ward with injuries some serious resulting from dogs running across the road.
If one is familiar with Sri Lanka one will realize as a motorist one sees many dogs on the road in groups or singly and a motor vehicle is usually safe from their menace. However motorbikes are in harms way as they are constantly running across the road with no care or concern for the traffic.
With our free medical care, no one seems to make an issue out of the high cost of health care arising out of dogs causing traffic accidents on the road. I did mention in an earlier piece where our drivers tend to brake suddenly endangering civilians, when dogs cross the road as they try to avoid harming the animal and harm the humans instead. This motorbike accident brought home to me, the frequency of this occurrence with the attendant costs to the economy, which outweigh the benefits of having so many dogs around.
I invite the reader’s comments on this issue, as the increasing number of motorbikes on the road with the resulting accidents are putting a serious strain on the free healthcare system of this country. Will bike riders be more careful if they have to pay for a share of the cost of accidents? Even if it is not their fault, but only because they are in vehicles prone to accidents.
The hospital was full and this has over 500 beds. In this ward there were two to a bed and the next bed was a soldier(MP) who was stabbed last night by an army deserter who had been identified and faced imminent arrest.
This hospital has a reputation for expertise in treating poisons either resulting from snakebites or from ingesting pesticides as is commonly done due to the slightest provocation, mostly in the form of attempted suicides.