The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients has expressed concern over the delay in implementing the proposed Charter of Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities and the National Medicinal Drugs Policy.
A spokesman for the PMRP said Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had repeatedly promised to quicken the introduction of legislation on these two policy matters, as part of moves to restore a health service where the well- being of the patients is given priority . High level committees were appointed to finalize this legislation in consultation with the Legal Draughtsman’s Department, but progress has been painfully slow.
The spokesman said patients would benefit immensely when the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities was made law, while quality drugs could be made available country-wide at affordable prices through the National Medicinal Drugs Policy.
As part of a national campaign to get legislation on these matters expedited, the PMRP will conduct public awareness meetings in Colombo and elsewhere.
The first of these meetings will be held on Saturday January 31st. from 9.00am to noon at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), No. 281, Deans Road, Colombo 10.
The main speaker will be Dr. K. Balasubramaniam, Asia Pacific Co-ordinator for Health Action International and a member of the steering committee appointed by the Health Ministry to finalize the legislation for the Patients Charter . After the main speech a panel of health experts will lead a discussion on the topic. All are welcome.
The PMRP hopes to conduct similar public awareness meetings in Kandy and Ratnapura next month and in March. The spokesman said the PMRP was also pushing for a Constitutional Amendment to make healthcare a fundamental right . A draft for this purpose worked out by the PMRP in consultation with the Law and Society Trust was submitted to the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs two years ago, but on this issue too little has been done by either Ministry.