Private healthcare must be better regulated - Justice Minister | Daily News


 

Private healthcare must be better regulated - Justice Minister

Former Minister A.H.M.Fowzie, Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and the WHO Representative at the Medicare 2020 opening. Picture by Dinesh Perera.
Former Minister A.H.M.Fowzie, Dr. Amal Harsha De Silva, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and the WHO Representative at the Medicare 2020 opening. Picture by Dinesh Perera.

Justice, Human Rights and Legal Reforms Minister Siripala De Silva called on the private healthcare industry to be better regulated. Speaking at the BMICH at the opening session of Medicare 2020 yesterday, De Silva said “Now I am the Justice Minister and health is a basic human right of the people. It relates to how we should provide healthcare to the nation. We need to think of it as a human right.”

“The national health system should not be devalued and the quality of care should not be brought down as a result of the private healthcare system.There must be efficient and protective co-existence between private healthcare and the national healthcare system.

He said: “I have been advocating that private hospitals should have their own specialists full-time. Doctors operate a patient in the private hospital and come to the national hospital and when a patient needs your services you run away from the national hospital to the private hospital.”

He added “Someone said running hospitals was a meritorious venture but sometimes it can be otherwise. I don’t say that you should run at a loss or that private institutions are not charitable but there is a social responsibility.”

He cited examples of high charges for basic medical equipment like saline. He said “What is the justification in charging so much? There must be a healthy and responsible private sector that has a heart for the people of the country. They will recognize this as another financial institution charging a 30 percent interest rate every day. In the case of healthcare institutions, the concept of social responsibility should be integral.”

He said “When I took over healthcare we had a challenge on how to improve the private sector. There should be a healthy competition between private and public sector healthcare to serve the people in the changing environment. All over the world private healthcare has become a business. He added “Nowhere in the world do we get a system like in Sri Lanka where we provide healthcare to the needy people. Consecutive governments have a policy that has not been changed that the free education system and healthcare system should be protected sustained and enhanced.”

 


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