In the context of the on going debate on the controversial Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India, Galle District MP Ramesh Pathirana who is a physician by profession and the son of former Education and Higher Education minister Richard Pathirana, has once again publicly shown his anti-patient psychology.
The meme uploaded on Pathirana’s Facebook page last night, clearly shows his HIV/AIDS phobia.
The wordings in the meme goes on to read ETCA allows Indian “Independent Professionals” to work in Sri Lanka and provides HIV/AIDS related data and comparison statistics relating to India and Sri Lanka. The meme also highlights two girls in the background of the wordings.
On Saturday he shared another Facebook meme where Dr. Rajitha Senaratne is wheeled on a stretcher being rushed into hospital recently. He stated that this was a not a revengeful post but rather retribution that Dr.Senaratne was experiencing.
Similarly to this kind of Anti-HIV phobic remarks made by the UK politician Nigel Farage was widely condemned by the leading politicians and health professionals last year.
Farage said “There are 7000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV positive, but 60 percent of them are not for British nationals”. “Ban HIV positive migrants from entering the UK” he said.
He was immediately slammed by most politicians.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said “And Farage’s comments about foreign people with HIV were simply vile and desperate. Politics of the lowest form.”
Dr Rosemary Gillespie, CEO of Terrence Higgins Trust, said in a statement: “It was great to see so many people express outrage after Farage’s comments last night about the numbers of people in the UK with HIV who were not born here. HIV is a public health issue in the UK and globally.
“If we do not take an inclusive approach and provide treatment for people who need it, we will never prevent onward transmission. 24% of people living with HIV in the UK do not know they are living with it, and 4 in every 10 are diagnosed at a late stage, after they needed to start treatment.
“HIV doesn’t discriminate and politicians shouldn’t either. Such ill-informed and discriminatory comments generate stigma, and make it harder to encourage people to take a test and stay safe”.
A part of the Hippocratic oath sworn by doctors during their passing out reads “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice…I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”