Will create a healthy nation during tenure - President | Daily News


 

Will create a healthy nation during tenure - President

Public hungry for development and tired of excuses
Pays gratitude to all who contributed to control COVID-19
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Bhikkhuni Academy of the Manelwatte Viharaya in Kelaniya on Saturday and met its staff, Buddhist nuns and children of the Dhammachakkra Foundation. Picture by President’s Media Unit.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Bhikkhuni Academy of the Manelwatte Viharaya in Kelaniya on Saturday and met its staff, Buddhist nuns and children of the Dhammachakkra Foundation. Picture by President’s Media Unit.

One of the important lessons emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of maintaining a centralized healthcare system, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

Although the administration of most of Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals is vested with the Provincial Councils, fortunately there were enough hospitals nationwide under the Health Ministry that could be used without difficulty during the height of the pandemic, the President said. Had we been in a situation where healthcare was a subject completely devolved to the Provincial Councils, the efficacy of Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic may have been quite different, the President pointed out.

“Our recent experience reinforces the importance of maintaining responsibility for certain functions with the central Government. Education is another vital area of public life that can be similarly described”.

President Rajapaksa made these remarks delivering the keynote address at the launch of “Good Intern Programme 2020”, a two-day workshop held at the Manelwatta Nagananda International Buddhist Studies Institute in Bollegala in Kelaniya on Saturday (5).

The workshop organized by Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) was attended by 680 medical graduates awaiting internship.The workshop is the eighth in the series. More than 100 Professors and Medical Consultants shared their thoughts during the workshop.

Commencing the address President said Sri Lanka was successful in containing COVID-19 pandemic primarily to due decisive, early action taken by multiple arms of the Government, and the truly outstanding efforts of our health personnel.

“The outstanding success Sri Lanka achieved in this endeavour came at a time when even some of the most developed countries in the world were unable to respond adequately to the pandemic. Due to a variety of factors, ranging from a delayed response by their Governments, to the lack of universal health insurance, the unpreparedness of their healthcare institutions, the lack of sufficient testing, to the inadequacy of their management systems, the spread of the virus could not be contained in several developed nations”.

The President paid tribute and expressed his sincere gratitude to all healthcare professionals and others who contributed to Sri Lanka’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Sri Lanka’s success in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has been justly commended by international institutions including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, as well as many foreign nations, international commentators and individuals,” the President said.

One of the core pillars of development is the maintenance of a healthy population. Achieving certain public health goals remains a core responsibility of the Government. I am determined to work towards creating a healthy nation during my tenure as President of this country.

While there is certainly a need to further strengthen the state healthcare system, I believe it is time that we encourage greater use of the facilities we have within this system said the President adding that some innovative thinking towards absorbing state generated funds into the public healthcare system will ultimately benefit the citizens.

“The mandate given to the Government by the people at the Parliamentary Elections just a month ago makes it very clear that the Sri Lankan public is hungry for development and tired of excuses” the President added.

Health Ministry Secretary Major General (Retd.) Sanjeewa Munasinghe, medial officers, GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and its members and delegated of Society for Health Research and Innovation attended the inaugural session.Later, President called on the Chief Executive of Manelwatta Nagananda International Buddhist Studies Institute and Chief Incumbent of Kelaniya Manelwatta Vihara Ven. Dr.Bodagama Chandima Thera.

The Thera gifted the President a replica of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. The President posed for a group photo with Bhikkunis of Buddha Shravika Educational Center in Manelwatta Vihara and children of Dharmachakra Lama Padanama.


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