Restructuring of Sri Lankan Health sector
Health can be defined as physical, mental and social wellbeing of individual but not merely absence of disease. Currently, Sri Lanka is practicing free health service at the point of delivery. With the presence of free education system, Sri Lankan health and education system show favorable level of performance comparing with countries with similar socio economic context such as high level of literacy and primary school enrollment rates, low level of maternal and infant mortality rates. It is proven that education and health sector performances are strongly bounded and mutually beneficial to each other.
Although, some Sri Lankan health figures are being indicated at very favorable level, few important things should get the attention of authorities.
- Stagnation of important health indicators at same level for many years (ex, maternal mortality rate, Infant mortality rate).
- Upcoming threats of non-communicable diseases (Diabetes, High blood pressure, cancers).
- Overcrowding of major hospitals and underutilization of small- peripheral hospitals.
- Increasing demand for new medical technologies.
- Growing and dynamic patient’s expectations.
In order to address the aforementioned problems, I personally believes the following suggestions.
- Revision of national health policy which was formulated around 1990s.
- Establishment of national framework to enhance the utilization of peripheral hospitals (ex, As a station for patients those who need long term recovery period with normal medical care from Medical Officers , but not from consultations/ specialties. .
- Strengthening of public health sector with more focus on life style modification, screening with the aim of reduction of burden from non-communicable diseases.
Therefore, I would like to propose health policy revision, restructuring of existing system after the suitable situation analysis and multi stake holder involvement for the betterment of Sri Lankan health sector.
Dr Duminda Dias
MSc, MD (Medical Administration)