Health Ministry overhand confirmed

The Health Ministry yesterday finally admitted that it planned on setting up a Human Resources Department for the first time.

Earlier when the GMOA raised the issue, there was no response from the ministry.

Spokesman for the Health Ministry, Nipun Ekanayake said there was a pressing need for such a department as it had approximately 150,000 employees. The Minister had submitted a Cabinet paper prepared with assistance from Prof. Gunapala Nanayakkara, who had outlined the methodology that should be observed in forming such a section in the Health Ministry.

Ekanayake said a Project Appraisal Unit was also to be established in the Ministry. There were several building projects – especially those affiliated to hospitals which were taking a long time to reach completion.

The decisions had been taken during discussions held at the Health Ministry to assess the recommendations to be made for the 2017 budget proposals. The Finance Ministry had released funds to purchase a fleet of vehicles, including 250 ambulances for the Health Ministry, he said.

Ekanayake said it had also been decided set up more drug storage facilities, purchase lorries for the distribution of pharmaceuticals, shift the Wellawatte drug storage facility to Welisara, provide free lenses for cataract patients, free stents for patients with heart diseases, conduct free blood tests at government hospitals and provide free medicines for patients with cancer. (DJ)

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