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Sri Lanka: Health Ministry considers closure of under-utilised rural hospitals, central dispensaries and peripheral clinics

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  • Sri Lanka: Health Ministry considers closure of under-utilised rural hospitals, central dispensaries and peripheral clinics

    Govt. ponders euthanasia for some rural health institutions
    by Don Asoka Wijewardena
    The Health Ministry is considering the closure of under-utilised rural hospitals, central dispensaries and peripheral clinics, after a survey revealed that some rural hospitals treat only two to three patients and attend to four to five delivery cases a month.
    Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has appointed a committee to prepare a complete census of underused rural hospitals because it has been found that the government has to spend around Rs.150,000 mn a month on salaries, overtime and maintenance work.
    The Minister told The Island that the government had been incurring heavy losses because of the obsolete rural hospitals. Most patients preferred hospitals with better facilities to rural hospitals, central dispensaries and peripheral clinics.
    He said the provision of free health care did not mean wasting public funds. The maintenance of the underutilised rural hospitals cost the public purse dearly.
    Minister de Silva added the Health Ministry had no alternative but to consider whether to close down redundant rural health care institutions.
    It had been found that the Pelmadulla rural hospital had catered to only a single person per month. But, the hospital staff had to be on duty 24-hours a day.
    He added that the committee of Health Ministry officials appointed to carry out a complete census of underutilized rural hospitals would submit a report to him and the Health Ministry would then decide what to do with them.


    http://www.island.lk/2008/08/13/news1.html
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