President inaugurates South Asia’s largest maternity hospital

Thursday, 28 March 2024 02:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday emphasised that the future of the country hinges on modernising the education and health sectors to align with forthcoming challenges and opportunities.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the imperative of modernising the education and health sectors to ensure the country’s future prosperity and development.

The President highlighted a significant shortfall in capital expenditure for education and health over the past three and a half decades. It is now planned to increase capital expenditure in these sectors starting from this year.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made this remark while attending the inauguration of the “German-Sri Lanka Friendship New Women’s Hospital” in Karapitiya Galle, hailed as the largest maternity hospital in South Asia.

The six-story hospital claims 640 beds, 6 operating theatres, emergency treatment units, intensive care units, laboratories, infant intensive care units, special paediatric units, and state-of-the-art 

medical facilities. Additionally, it features water purification and recycling unit.

The German Government has contributed Euro 25 million (Rs. 3,570 million) in this project, in addition to providing medical equipment.

Initially, eight hundred perches were allocated for the hospital’s construction, but later, two additional plots of land were acquired, increasing the total area of the hospital to nearly one thousand perches. Former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl, made this significant donation towards the construction of a new maternity hospital in Sri Lanka. This gesture came after witnessing the devastation caused by the tsunami to Mahmodara Hospital Galle, the largest maternity hospital in the Southern Province, during his vacation in December 2004 at a tourist hotel in Talpe, Habaraduwa.

Following the inauguration of the new hospital, plans are underway to relocate the Mahmodara Maternity Hospital from its current location.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also visited the newly opened maternity hospital to inspect its facilities, including the state-of-the-art surgery rooms.

President Wickre-mesinghe expressed gratitude by presenting a memento to the German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dr. Felix Neumann, in appreciation of the generous donation received from the German Government.

Health and Industry Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for his contribution towards establishing a state-of-the-art maternity hospital. As I embarked on my Parliamentary journey in 2010, I carried two profound dreams with me.

These dreams encompassed the reconstruction of the Galle bus station, ravaged by the tsunami and the revival of the German-Sri Lanka Friendship Women’s Hospital, which had ceased operations. While the Galle bus station was rebuilt in 2010, the construction of the Women’s Hospital, which had only 26 foundation pillars at the time, received support from the incumbent Government. Today, I am proud to announce the successful completion of this hospital, now open to serve the people.

The 2024 budget has earmarked Rs. 2,000 million for the Karapitiya Hospital, allocated from the Ministry of Health. Of this, Rs. 1,000 million designated for enhancing facilities such as the surgical unit, dental unit, professor unit, and stroke unit, while the remaining Rs. 1,000 million will be utilised for acquiring medical equipment. 

Karapitiya Hospital, renowned for its advanced technology and size, ranks second only to the Colombo National Hospital. The inauguration of the maternity hospital today marks a significant expansion of Karapitiya Hospital’s services”.

German Ambassador Dr. Felix Neumann said, “The hospital has been formally transferred to the Ministry of Health, placing the responsibility of its operation squarely on the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure maximum benefit for the residents of Galle and the Southern Province.

The German Government is especially pleased to have President Ranil Wickramasinghe present at the inauguration of this hospital. I extend my best wishes to the Minister of Health and all other officials involved in this endeavour. May this hospital be a resounding success, and I offer my congratulations to all the staff involved. Germany has long been a friend of Sri Lanka, and our friendship remains steadfast.”