Human resources

Health Minister finds inequitable distribution of resources among hospitals – The Island

Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella asked the ministry secretary to submit an assessment report on the distribution of medical equipment and human resources among public hospitals, parliamentary sources said yesterday.

There was an excess of doctors in some hospitals and there was a shortage of doctors in some rural hospitals, the minister said at the Ministerial Health Advisory Committee.

The government has taken over basic hospitals to improve the quality of health care, the minister said, adding that the government’s handling of matters falling under provincial councils is problematic due to the 13th Amendment.

The Minister of Health said it was appropriate to investigate and report to Cabinet in this regard.

SLPP Hambantota District MP Dr Upul Galappaththi stressed the need to follow a common policy of increasing wages, as there had been a wave of strikes in the health sector.

The Committee paid particular attention to the fact that a large number of drugs had been imported in recent years.

State Minister Professor Channa Jayasumana pointed out that excessive quantities of drugs had been imported into the country for some years. He said a national drug information system would be launched and all hospitals across the country would be connected to it.

Galle District SLPP MK Geetha Kumarasinghe said there were many shortcomings at the Elpitiya Base Hospital and steps should be taken to rectify them.

Although the Polonnaruwa Kidney Hospital had been opened, it was not fully functional due to a lack of staff, the Committee observed.

Colombo District SLPP MP Madhura Withanage also raised a question regarding the failure to include information on some vaccinated people in the active database.

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

The number of calls received by the Suwa Sariya 1990 ambulance service at midnight yesterday was forty-six million thirty-three thousand, said Colombo District SJB Deputy Dr Harsha de Silva. He pointed out that Rs. 1,800 million had been allocated to the service for the year 2022, but the amount was not enough.

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

It was also revealed during the meeting that 719 Ayurvedic medical graduates were still unemployed.

Minister of State Sisira Jayakody said there are plans to open Ayurvedic clinics locally and arrange appointments for them.

Over 20 ministers, ministers of state and parliamentarians attended the Committee meeting. A number of officials representing the health sector attended the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Health.