The total number of patients seeking treatment in hospitals in Sri Lanka annually is double the total population of the country. This was revealed by the advisor to the World Bank Health Development Programme Professor Nimal Kasthuriarachi at the Sabaragamuwa Health Service office in Ratnapura.
The Health Ministry, in collaboration with provincial ministries of health, is organizing meetings in all provinces in order to obtain the opinion, suggestions and advice from politicians, religious leaders, media personnel and from the civil society to formulate a tentative provincial health policy.
Professor Kasthuriarachi said the World Bank had advised Sri Lanka to show more transparency when allocating funds to the health sector. People in Sri Lanka spend 50 per cent of their medical expenses out of their own money, and annually 40 million people take treatment from hospitals, 80 per cent of them are women.
He regretted the non-availability of sufficient data and information in the Health Service Sector and called upon media personnel to be more investigative and pragmatic when compiling reports about the health sector. When preparing the district, province and national health programmes opinions received from a wide range of people would be considered for inclusion.
Dr. Kapila Kanangara, Provincial Director of Health Service and Dr. Gamini Perera, Planning Director of Health Service participated.