‘Arogya 2012’: A step towards better healthcare

Saturday, 18 August 2012 02:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Rashika Fazali

Arogya 2012, an international healthcare exhibition organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Health, kicked off yesterday at the BMICH, and will conclude tomorrow (19). Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake officially opened the ‘Arogya 2012’ exhibition.  

A three-day exhibition, ‘Arogya 2012’ will cover many aspects from health and insurance to hospitals and clinics to leisure, sports, physiotherapy and beauty care, to name a few. Society can learn a lot about the health sector at this exhibition.

‘Arogya 2012’ is being held to create and increase awareness on health needs, advanced treatments methods and new products available to society, professionals, students, foreigners and the private sector healthcare institutions.

‘Arogya 2012’ Chairman Sujeiva Samaraweera pointed out another reason for this exhibition, stating that it was aimed at promoting Sri Lanka as a health hub and to showcase its excellent standards in the area of healthcare.

Addressing the need for a healthy workforce was National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) President, Asoka Hettigoda, who said: “It is vital for Sri Lanka to have a healthy workforce if it wants to progress economically and for sustainable development.”

Towards this end, for the next year, Rs. 125 billion has been allocated for the health sector, to ensure the best health services are available for the people. Moreover, it is the largest amount of funds allocated for the health sector by the Sri Lankan Government.

Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake stated that advanced healthcare systems are now available in the country, lessening the need to go abroad for medical purposes. “Sri Lanka is now capable of treating neighbouring countries, which can also benefit from Sri Lanka’s medical facilities thanks to the help of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the country’s professionals.”

Delegates from India, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and China were sent for ‘Arogya 2012’ in a bid to enhance knowledge about healthcare.

Hettigoda added that the exhibition was also being held to showcase the investment opportunities available in the Sri Lankan healthcare sector. By setting up a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub in Sri Lanka, the country intends to cater to the larger world market, which is estimated to reach US$ 1 trillion in 2012.

Moreover, many successful health programmes for malaria, dengue, filarial, etc. have been held in order to create awareness of Sri Lanka’s expertise in this sector and how people can protect themselves and their families from diseases. Topping them in terms of reach this year is ‘Arogya 2012,’ which is showcasing the services the country’s health sector is capable of providing.