Ministerial Consultative Committee on Health reviews key issues

Tuesday, 30 November 2021 02:25 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



Health Minister Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella last week requested the Secretary to the Ministry to submit an evaluation report on the distribution of medical equipment and human resources to Government hospitals.

“There is an excess of doctors in some hospitals and there is a shortage of doctors in some rural hospitals,” Rambukwella said at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Health.

Although the Government taking over the Base Hospital Centre will improve the quality of healthcare, the taking of subjects under the Provincial Councils by the Central Government is problematic as it conflicts with the process of decentralization of power under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the Minister further stated, addressing the Consultative Committee. Rambukwella further stated that it was appropriate to investigate and submit a report to Cabinet in this regard.

MP Dr. Upul Galappaththi pointed out the need to follow a common policy in increasing salaries as there had been a wave of strikes in the health sector from time to time in the recent past.

The Committee paid special attention to the fact that a large number of drugs have been imported into the country during the last few years. State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana pointed out that drugs with high percentages were imported into the country in some years.

The State Minister further stated that a national information system on drugs will be launched and all hospitals in the country will be connected to it. 

MP Geetha Kumarasinghe said that there were many shortcomings in the Elpitiya Base Hospital and action should be taken to address those shortcomings. 

Although the Polonnaruwa Kidney Hospital was built and opened, the Committee also paid special attention to the fact that it had not yet started to function properly.

Parliamentarian Madhura Withanage also raised an issue regarding the non-inclusion of the information of certain persons who had been vaccinated against COVID in the active database.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Health informed the Committee that steps would be taken to resolve this situation expeditiously.

The number of calls received by the 1990 Suwa Sariya Ambulance Service as of Friday was over 46 million, said MP Dr. Harsha de Silva. He pointed out that Rs. 1,800 million had been allocated for this service for the year 2022, which he said was not enough.

The Minister of Health informed the Committee that discussions were underway with the relevant parties to increase the amount by at least another Rs. 1,200 million as requested by Dr. de Silva.

It was also revealed at the meeting that 719 Ayurvedic graduates were unemployed. State Minister Sisira Jayakody stated that there was a plan to open Ayurvedic dispensaries locally and give them appointments.

More than 20 Ministers, State Ministers and Members of Parliament were present at this Committee meeting. A number of officials from the health sector also joined the occasion.