Rs. 8.7bn spent on developing hospitals and healthcare
Public investment for the health sector in 2008 was mainly directed towards improving access to healthcare, focusing people particularly in the lagging regions.
Investment in curative healthcare services was significantly increased during 2008 allocating Rs. 8,669 million on hospital development projects. These funds were mainly channeled for expansion of specialized healthcare facilities with technologically advanced equipment in the areas of Neuro Trauma, Epilepsy, Nephrology, Oncology, Cardiology, Fiscal Management Report 2009, which was presented by the Ministry of Finance and Planning Sri Lanka stated.
Establishment of Nephrology Unit at Maligawatta, Laundry Building at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Out Patient Department Building at Kalmunai North Hospital, Oncology Unit at Badulla General Hospital, improvement of Kantale Hospital and Drug Stores at Kurunegala Teaching Hospital are some of the key development projects which have been completed during the first nine months of 2008. Ninety five percent of building construction work of Neuro Trauma Unit at National Hospital Colombo with Saudi Arabian assistance has been completed by September 2008, at a cost of Rs 1,137 million, the report noted.
In addition, special emphasis was also given to implement the programmes such as development of quarters for Medical Officers and improvement of Estate Hospitals in Kandy, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla districts. The work on key development projects of Korean funded Matara, Godagama Hospital and Dental Institute of Colombo were initiated during the year 2008.
According to the report, new initiatives to control communicable and non communicable diseases were introduced to face the challenges posed with the epidemiological and demographic transition. Funds were directed towards an effective continuation of Rabies Control Programme as well as to the Expanded Programme on Immunization.
Increased funds have been allocated for pharmaceuticals from Rs 10.8 billion in 2007 to Rs. 13 billion in 2008 to maintain better patient care services in all Government hospitals. Out of the total amount allocated, around Rs. 9.0 billion has been utilized during the first nine months of 2008.
Meanwhile, the acute shortage and inequities in human resource distribution has been minimized through recruitment of new staff and better deployment of trained and quality human resources more particularly to the backward areas during the year. 184 Post-intern Medical Officers, 1,041 Nurses and 243 Para Medical staff have been recruited to the health sector in 2008, the report said.