Remote State hospital surprises private sector, clinches National Quality Award

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A remote, Government controlled hospital has clinched the National Quality Award giving a shocking wakeup call to Lankan private and manufacturing sectors. “Almost one third of our GDP now consists of the industry sector and our historic industry growth rate, appears to surpass the historic growth rate of GDP itself,” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on Monday, addressing the 19th Sri Lanka National Quality Awards (SLNQA) held at the BMICH, Colombo. A standard bearer of quality, the SLNQA, organised and implemented annually by the Marketing and Promotion Division of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), puts recipients on the cutting edge of an international quality competition. On 14 October, large, medium and small scale Lankan organisations were competing in manufacturing, services, healthcare and education sectors. The criteria used at the event were similar to the criteria used for the ‘Malcom Baldrige’ Quality Award in USA which is used in more than 80 countries for their national quality awards. During the event, Ampara General Hospital, a State-controlled hospital in remote Ampara, has clinched the National Quality Award in which many Lankan public and private entities were competing in a tight, neck-to-neck race for excellence. “It is clear that we are experiencing an event of international standards today,” said Bathiudeen, having congratulated the winners. “Thanks to the efforts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, one third of our GDP now consists of the industry sector. More importantly, in 2012 our industries grew by 10.3%, and I am pleased to say that our historic industry growth rate appears to surpass, the historic growth rate of GDP itself.” “The Industry and Commerce Ministry has been pioneering quality standards in our industrial efforts. Having identified the food processing sector as priority sector we have upgraded our assistance to it seeing the strong need for technology advancement, and obtaining of food quality, safety and environmental certifications in its value chain.” In June this year with the support of a US food scientist, for the first time in Sri Lanka awareness on much-needed international compliance rules for Lankan food exporters was facilitated. “We are supporting even other Lankan industries to obtain such global certifications as HACCP, GMP and ISO for compliance. It is obvious that when it comes to industrial quality, it goes hand in hand with new innovations.” Supporting this concept is the National Intellectual Property Office under the Industry and Commerce Ministry, which for the 11 year period of 2002 to 2012 registered 2,250 new patents, and 2,581 new designs in Sri Lanka. “Also, one of the best examples of our quality is the international demand for our apparels. For example, Yamatani Eriko, a Member of the Japanese House of Councillors, on 27 September informed me that the $ 122 b Japanese apparel market is looking for more and more ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ apparel. Japanese buyers mostly look for high quality products and this request shows the special recognition for our apparels in world’s third largest apparel market. We are also supporting quality enhancement for our rubber sector by strengthening lab testing facilities in Sri Lanka. Demand for Sri Lankan rubber is continuously on the increase in world markets as a result of our quality compliance.”