Suwa Seriya pre hospital care ambulance services provided to the people free of charge has been expanded in to the North Central Province.State Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said by Saturday, the Suwa Seriya Ambulance Service has helped 100,370 patients.
The free emergency ambulance service implemented in the Western and Southern provinces with 88 ambulances in the first stage will be expanded in the other seven provinces as well.Expanding the service to North Central Province, 22 Suwa Seriya ambulances were given to health authorities in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa at a function held at the Anuradhapura National Youth Services premises yesterday.
new Deputy High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka Dr Shilpak Ambule and the political leadership of the two districts led by Minister Chandrani Bandara in Anuradhapura and State Minister Wasantha Senanayake in Polonnaruwa.
Speaking on the occasion State Minister Harsha de Silva said service is provided in five provinces now with 158 ambulances. By December all nine provinces will be covered with 297 ambulances and pre hospital care emergency services to every person in Sri Lanka will be guaranteed.
"Currently our response time is an amazing 12 minutes and 56 seconds for over 100,000 cases. By the end of this year we would have completed the hiring and a total of 1,998 would be working at 1990 island wide 24x7," the Minister said.
The service and the current island wide expansion was financed by a USD 23 million donation from India. Currently, the service is run by the 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation, fully owned by the Government of Sri Lanka, established by Act of Parliament recently.
According to State Minister Dr. de Silva, the entirely voluntary Board, is chaired by Dumi Ratnayake and consists of Vijaya Malalasekera, Prof Asitha de Silva and Sandya Salgado along with ex officio Secretary Treasury, Secretary Health and IGP.