Local Health sector to be world’s best: Minister

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Budget allocation to the Health Ministry during the previous year, was Rs. 285 billion, though Rs. 500 billion had been spent by the Ministry to develop the Health sector during that period. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had also appreciated the efforts of the Ministry, Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said.

He was addressing a meeting with the health officers, which was held at the Dambulla Weera Denzil Kobbekaduwa Base Hospital, last Friday. Provincial Health Minister Bandula Yalegama participated as well. Further, the minister said that in 2015, the central government had provided Rs. 900 million to the Central Province, while it had increased up to Rs. 6.9 billion during in 2016. In the meantime, Rs. 2 billion had been provided by the central government to the Provincial Health Ministry, to develop the Health sector. Dr. Senaratne said, “My ambition is to promote the Health service in the country as the world’s number one. All facilities would be provided to district-level hospitals in order to provide medical facilities for all patients. Currently, heart and cancer patients could obtain proper facilities to cure their diseases from state hospitals. During the previous regime, it was overpriced.”

He said the prices of essential medicines had been reduced considerably, adding that it was a boon to patients. Modern facilities would be added to all hospitals and in addition, 15 new hospitals with all required facilities would be constructed countrywide, with assistance from western countries, Minister Dr. Senaratne said.

Thirteen CT scan machines and 350 ambulances would be imported during this year, he said. Minister Dr. Senaratne added that the Matale and Dambulla Base Hospitals would be developed soon, with the addition of modern facilities within next two years. Furthermore, the Dambulla Hospital is to be shifted to a new location and a modern building complex would also be set up there.

A sum of Rs. 1.45 billion had been allocated from the French and German governments, for the development of the said two hospitals, the minister said.

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