Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Dr. C.S. Ratnatunga
Close on the heels of Channa Ratnatunga's "My Story", we have a tribute to his uncle Dr. C.S. Ratnatunga sent in by ND. It is most timely and I am sure, viewers will find it interesting.
Dr C S Ratnatunge - Remembered by Dr Nihal D Amerasekera
We are eminently fortunate to have been medical students during the golden era of medical education in Sri Lanka.
Dr C S Ratnatunge was the Superintendent of the Anti-Venereal Disease Campaign and Clinical Specialist in Charge of the VD Clinic. The Clinic was in a back street close to the GHC and remained a non-descript building without a name board. All those who entered and left the building (except the doctors) did so like frightened deer at Yala. We all had a 2 week appointment with CSR during which he taught all we needed to know and more. It was one of the best organized and comprehensive clinical teaching courses I have attended. What struck me most of his teaching was his ability to combine scientific detachment with sympathetic understanding of the mental and physical trauma of his patients. As a doctor he was meticulous and a superb clinician.
In 1964 whilst working in the VD Clinic CSR published the History of Venereal Disease Control in Ceylon with Eunice D.C Pereira. This seminal work on the subject published in the British Journal of Venereal Disease brought him worldwide acclaim.
He proceeded to the UK in the early 1950’s where he obtained his MRCP(Edin) and qualified further in venereal diseases in London. On his return he took charge of the VD Clinic where he worked until 1966 when he retired to proceed to the UK. CSR was appointed Consultant in Genito-Urinary medicine at the Royal free Hospital in London where his expertise was greatly appreciated. During his tenure he published many scientific papers that were published in the BMJ, Lancet and in the British Journal of Venereal Diseases. CSR also worked as a Consultant to the WHO. He retired in 1982 and the Royal Free hospital held a Symposium on Sexual Health in his honour.
As a Consultant at the Royal Free Hospital he was a visiting physician to the Prince of Wales Hospital in North London where I worked in 1975. Once I introduced myself in a dark corridor in the bowels of that hospital. Since then whenever we met he gave me friendly and helpful advice about my career. Even after I became a consultant although he was retired he continued to do several Locums in my hospital. We often met up at lunch in the hospital canteen where we discussed all topics from medicine to politics and mutual friends and acquaintances. He was a kind man generous in his praise for others and a gentleman in every sense of the word.
We thank him for his contribution to medical education and his tireless work in Sexual Health.
May he find Eternal Peace