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New Council to check private health services

The private sector health care institutes will come under tough scrutiny of the newly formed Private Health Services Regulatory Council, which is empowered to register all the private health care service providers in the country.

The Council formed under No. 21 of Private Medical Institutions Act of 2006, was passed in the Parliament three months ago. The four objectives of the Act are to improve the health care of the population, ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the private sector health care services, ensure the quality of their services and equity.

The Secretary of the Council Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva told the 'Sunday Observer' that Minister of health and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva, who had to struggle for the past 14-years with three to four governments was able to bring the Act with the help of the Opposition.

The council, which represented by the professional bodies like Sri Lanka Medical Council, Independent Medical Practitioners Association, Dental Association, has excluded the trade unions in the health sector. The Ministry decided to bring regulations to control activities of the private sector as it is bringing more impact on the society. According to Dr. de Silva there is a growth of 15 to 20 percent in the private health care sector, and over 10,000 people are employed.

Dr. de Silva said that though the country has a free health care system, over 60 percent depend on private health care. "The private health care services in the country are doing well and they are the pioneers in transferring the new technology", he said. According to statistics, there are over 200 private hospitals , 450 medical labs, 12,000 part time General Practitioners (GP), 850 full time GPs, 750 dental practitioners, ambulance service providers, home nursing care providers in the private sector health services.

"All these private health care service providers should register with the Council within the next three months and those who operate without the licence would be subjected to a fine or an imprisonment under the Act", he said.

However, according to Dr. de Silva there are some issues like charges that will be discussed through dialogue with the private sector health care service providers.

 

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