Next year's Health budget to top US$ 1 bn

The Government will allocate over US$ one Billion for health for next year. This is around 1.5 percent from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), National Policies and Economic Affairs State Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva said. According to State Minister De Silva, next year’s health budget in Sri Lanka will only be second to the Defence budget.

Sri Lanka has pretty decent health indicators and primary health care system when comparing with the other countries in the region. He was addressing the Policy Forum on Hypertension and Cardio-metabolic diseases - Impact on health systems in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and regional countries held in Colombo yesterday.

State Minister De Silva said that Sri Lanka is now in the 76th place among 188 countries when it comes to the Human Development Index and this ranked 0.77 in the index which is above the average of 0.76.This is a significant achievement for Sri Lanka. The free heal care and education available in Sri Lanka contributed towards achieving this level.

“There was no ambulance service for Sri Lankans to transport patients to a hospital until 2016. In 2016 the service was launched in Sri Lanka and over 100,300 patients had been transported by the service by now. The service will be expanded to all over the country by the end of this year. The call centre answered 98.7 percent calls within two seconds providing the fastest service in the region or may be in the world,” he added.