Apr 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to strengthen primary healthcare service to relieve the congestion at hospitals providing treatments at tertiary level as the general public prefer to receive treatment from the tertiary level hospitals.
The government says that even though there exists around 970 primary level hospitals in Sri Lanka, there is a trend among the general public to bypass this network of hospitals and to move towards the hospitals providing treatments at tertiary level. Due to this trend, a heavy congestion has been created in such hospitals providing treatments at tertiary level.
The government says in addition, the need has risen to enhance the local Healthcare service due to the increase of the elderly population, growth of non‑communicable diseases, dynamic illness patterns etc.
As such, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has made a proposal to establish an advanced Health Service System, to enable the general public to have access to those facilities easily by linking the closest hospitals providing specialized treatment services, as forums.
The proposal, which has received the cabinet nod to implement the 'Policy providing Healthcare services with the objective of Universal Health Coverage', includes the following;
• to identify one family doctor each to cover per 5,000 of the population and to further strengthen the institutions providing Primary Healthcare services to facilitate the prevention of illnesses;
•to provide the Medical Practitioners with the initial training required for carrying out the functions in the field of Family Medicine and for strengthening the first contact care services;
• to ensure that all patients are provided with treatments at the Primary Healthcare Institutions and to encourage to refer those patients to secondary and tertiary hospitals with Specialist Doctors appropriately, in a timely manner;
• to provide a Personal Health Record to every citizen, with a unique heath identification number and to further strengthen the Health Information Management System;
• to ensure the attribution and the utilization of human resources in the health sector productively;
• to establish a method of obtaining distant assistance from Specialist Doctors to help the doctors providing Primary Healthcare within the relevant forums, in order to enhance their clinical skills.