President stresses on health sector policy change

President stresses on health sector policy change

by Amani Nilar 04-09-2022 | 5:24 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); President Ranil Wickremasinghe had pointed out the need to expand and develop the facilities of Colombo National Hospital, Kalubowila Hospital and the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital, as well as the need for policy change in the entire health sector, during a meeting held with the Government Medical Officers' Association.

During the meeting, the Government Medical Officers' Association had handed over the report of the three-member committee appointed to probe the shortage of drugs in the country, and the problems faced by the health sector and doctors were discussed at length.

President Ranil Wickremasinghe stressed the need for an urgent system to resolve the difficulties faced by the people due to the shortage of medicines and the rise in the price of medicines. The President also said that he will discuss with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund about other needs in the health sector including medicines.

Meanwhile, the report of the relevant committee has identified the shortcomings in the coordination between the Ministry of Health, Medical Supplies Division, State Pharmaceutical Corporation, State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation and National Drug Regulatory Authority, and had proposed for the appointment of a coordination committee by the Ministry of Healthand for the committee to submit monthly progress reviews. 

The report of the committee has also proposed to appoint a technical committee to study the recommendations of the Auditor General submitted within the last five years in order to solve the problems that have arisen due to the lack of action taken regarding the recommendations of the Auditor General's reports in the last few years.

Representatives of the Government Medical Officers Association pointed out that there is a shortage of medicines and insulin for cancer patients, and steps should be taken to solve the problem as soon as possible.

The Government Medical Officers Association also submitted their proposals to the President regarding the payment of additional duty allowances for doctors, official transport facilities for doctors and the revision of those allowances, the revision of the government administrative circular regarding foreign leave and the importation of electric vehicles on tax concessions for public service professionals.

The GMOAhad also pointed out that there is a need to introduce a professional development program to upgrade the grades of all universities including Raja Rata, Peradeniya, and Karapitiya approved by the University Grants Commission, and even though the universities offer such study courses, the service constitution of the Ministry of Health has not approved it. 

The Government Medical Officers' Association pointed out the difficulties in sending foreign exchange to students studying abroad, and the President emphasized that higher education policies in this country should be changed in such a way as to earn foreign exchange.