May 17, Colombo: The Nightingale Commemoration Ceremony to mark International Nurses Day was held at Temple Trees today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and with the participation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the chief guest.
Speaking at the occasion the Premier noted that the government has provided a number of facilities for the nursing sector, including establishing a separate faculty for training nurses.
The Premier said Rs. 25 billion has been allocated for the Health Service this year and with the mediation of the Health Minister an equal amount has been obtained as foreign aid and loans, to develop the health sector.
He pointed out that as a result of the Educational Colleges implemented in Kuliyapitiya, Ratnapura and Moratuwa, the hospitals around these areas will see further developments.
"This government allocated Rs.300 million in our 2018 budget to fund nurses' training schools, so I was delighted to join so many nurses today to thank them for improving the health of the nation and to acknowledge everything 30,000+ nurses do to save lives every day," the Premier said.
Joining in the ceremony, Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said, the country needs to come out of the mentality of perceiving every problem in an ethnic, religious and caste based angle. He said the nursing service is a good example to learn from.
The President appreciating the Health Minister's service to uplift the nurses' service presented a special award to the Minister at the occasion. President Sirisena also presented awards to felicitate those who worked for the development of nursing services.
Deputy Minister of Health Faizal Cassim, Parliamentarian Ashu Marasinghe, Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa and Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe were among those present at the occasion.