A new Bill to provide for the establishment of ‘the 1990 Suwaseriya Foundation’ was Gazetted by the Government last week. The Bill has been published in the Gazette by the National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry.
The Suwaseriya Foundation is to provide pre-hospital care ambulance services and emergency response services free of charge to any person. It also provides immediate and effective pre-hospital care free of charge in a safe and clinical working environment until a person reaches the nearest healthcare provider.
The Board of the Foundation will consist of three Ex-Officio members and four other members appointed by the President. The three Ex-Officio members will include the Secretaries to the Finance Ministry and Health Ministry and the IGP or their representatives. Four members appointed by the President should possess academic or professional qualifications and have experience in the fields of medical science, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, finance, management, administration, or law.
The Foundation can receive grants, gifts or donations and it will have its own Fund. It can enter into contracts or agreements as necessary for the discharge of its functions. Members, officers and employees of the Foundation deemed to be public servants.
Aqccounts of the Foundation will be audited by the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE). The Board has to submit annual reports to Parliament at the end of each financial year. “The Government established with a grant from the Government of India, a pre-hospital care ambulance service free of charge initially in the Western and Southern Provinces to deliver comprehensive, speedy, reliable and quality pre-hospital care services.
It has now become necessary to expand it to cover the whole island and to ensure the smooth operation of such service in a sustainable manner,” the Preamble of the Bill stated. The 1990 Suwaseriya Foundation will be fully owned by the Sri Lankan Government and run as an independent entity.The Bill will be presented to Parliament for the first reading at a future date.