Sept 03, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government plans to build a medical city in the southern port town of Hambantota to provide world class medical services to both Sri Lankans and foreigners.
According to a report by the Government Information Department, the medical complex will be established in the vicinity of the proposed state-of-the-art 650-bed general hospital that is currently being built at a cost of Rs. 7 billion.
The government has earmarked 100 acres of land for the medical city project and already two private hospitals in the country have expressed interest, the government said.
The Government of The Netherlands has pledged concessionary financial assistance of Euro 86.49 million to build the general hospital.
An official from the Hambantota District Development Committee has told the state-run Daily News that they hope to get leading global hospital chains to set up hospitals in the medical city with the initiative to attract foreign patients seeking medical treatment.
The government expects to intensively market the project globally once the infrastructure is in place and to offer attractive Board of Investment tax concessions for the investors.
According to the official, attention will be focused on attracting patients who need long term medical treatment requiring lengthy hospital stays and the proposed complex will also offer facilities for the family members to stay as well.
The Hambantota District Development Committee official has also pointed out that currently 11 star class hotels including a Shangri-La are being built and these facilities can accommodate the families and friends of patients, international doctors and staff providing treatment and services in the proposed medical city.
With a new airport, an international harbor, a highly developed road network and other infrastructure facilities the Hospital City will become more attractive for long term patients, the official has noted. It has been pointed out that similar facilities in other countries such as in Singapore bring additional revenues to the country.