Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government’s next goal is to establish a National Health Insurance Scheme as a major step towards improving the health sector of the country and all the people in the country will have access to health services through this health insurance.Addressing the inauguration of the annual conference National Health Research Symposium 2019 held at Waters Edge in Battaramulla today (22), the Prime Minister added that the professionals in the field of healthcare are expected to contribute to the development of Sri Lanka’s health research systems by introducing new innovations and experiences.
“Promotion of the country’s inadequate health research sector will facilitate to move forward the program we have started,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.The Premier commended the Minister of Health for making a “qualitative difference” in the health services.”I have to commend the Minister. He had made a qualitative difference in the health services of our country. And we are proud of it.”
The Premier said the health sector successfully faced the challenges that rose within the free health system but have to catch up with the research in the field.He pointed out that the health research for a long time has focused on meeting the challenges of the tropical medicine but now have to advance to the other areas.
The Premier said the government will have to increase the funding for the research from the Rs. 2 billion given now to Rs. 5 billion in the future but need a proper system to implement the work.”On the 2 billion that we are giving for research, the government will have to go up to about 5 billion. That is necessary. But to give 5 billion without changing the structure, I feel that will not get you the best results. So you have to change the base and have more research institutions as you go along.”
Wickremesinghe noted that there is a public as well as a private sector and have to make the health services available to all the citizens. “So as a government, our next step has to be building a national health insurance scheme, where everyone participates,” he said adding that the national health insurance scheme, will help the research while providing service to all the people.
The two-day conference organized by the education, Training and Research Unit of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, is held under the theme “Transforming Primary Health Care by Generating Evidence, Best practices & Innovations”. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Faizal Cassim, Deputy Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Dr. Vasantha Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Balram Bhargawa, Director General of the Indian Medical Research Council, and many other distinguished experts in the field.