Dec 17, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government in an effort to elevate the country's public health system today handed over appointments to over 10,000 new recruits to the health sector.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over appointment letters to 10,400 new health service personnel at a function held at the Sugathadasa indoor Stadium today.
According to Minister of Health Maithreepala Sirisena, 6,025 nurses, 1,990 doctors for paramedic services and 2,000 nurses who have completed their training received their appointments from the President today.
According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka has better health indicators than most developing countries and many lower-middle-income countries and has topped the health indices in Asia. However, as the country develops economically and healthcare improves, new challenges have risen with a long-living older population and increase in non-communicable diseases.
Addressing the event the President said the government has taken measures to establish the "Golden Era" of the free health service in the country.
He said the government was able to establish a qualitative and efficient health service in the island during last seven years. Fully equipped quality hospital system has been established in all districts of the country, he added.
The government allocations on the health sector are four-fold higher at present compared to the allocations made by 2005 budget, the President pointed out.
According to the Health Minister this is the first time to appoint such a large number of employees to the health service.
With the new appointments, country's nursing cadre will be increased to 36,000 personnel, the Minister said, adding that his Ministry expects to increase the number of nurses in the state sector to 50,000.
Meanwhile a new batch of 17,000 nurses will be admitted to the nursing schools throughout the country, a Ministry official said.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)