Written by Zulfick Farzan
05 Sep, 2020 | 9:25 pm
Colombo (News 1st); An important lesson emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic has been the importance of maintaining a centralized healthcare system, said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the launch of the “Good Intern Programme 2020” by the Society for Health Research and Innovation in collaboration with the Government Medical Officers’ Association and the Ministry of Health.
“Although the administration of most of Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals are vested with the Provincial Councils, fortunately there were enough hospitals nationwide under the management of the Health Ministry that could be utilized without difficulty during the height of the pandemic. Had we been in a situation where healthcare was a subject completely devolved to the Provincial Councils, the efficacy of Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic may have been quite different,” said President Rajapaksa.
The President went on to note, recent experience reinforces the importance of maintaining responsibility for certain functions with the central Government, adding education is another vital area of public life that can be similarly described.
“Sri Lanka has been largely spared in this pandemic is due primarily to decisive, early action taken by multiple arms of the Government, and the truly outstanding efforts of our health personnel. Doctors, Nurses, Public Health Inspectors, Technicians and numerous other staff in our hospitals, laboratories, quarantine centres, and at the community level ably supported by our Armed Forces dedicated themselves to stop the spread of Covid-19,” added the President.
The President also expressed his sincere gratitude to all healthcare professionals and others who contributed to Sri Lanka’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am also proud to say that Sri Lanka, despite still being a developing country, managed to face this situation very successfully because of our free healthcare system. Not even a single patient suspected of being infected with COVID-19 was turned away from our healthcare system,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said, highlighting the fact, “each and every patient was treated at our Government hospitals, at Government’s expense, and 2888 out of 3110 confirmed cases have been successfully cured to date, with only 12 fatalities thus far.”
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa went on to note, while there is certainly a need to further strengthen the state healthcare system, he believes it is time to encourage greater use of the facilities Sri Lanka has within its healthcare system.
Some innovative thinking towards absorbing these state generated funds into the public healthcare system will ultimately benefit the citizens, said the President.
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