President stresses importance of maintaining centralized healthcare system
Posted on September 5th, 2020

Courtesy Adaderana

One of the important lessons emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of maintaining a centralized healthcare system President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said. 

Although the administrations of most of Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals are vested with the Provincial Councils, fortunately there were enough hospitals nationwide under the management of the Health Ministry that could be utilized without difficulty during the height of the pandemic, the President said further.

Had we been in a situation where healthcare was a subject completely devolved to the Provincial Councils, the efficacy of Sri Lanka’s response to the pandemic may have been quite different,” the President pointed out. 

Our recent experience reinforces the importance of maintaining responsibility for certain functions with the central Government. Education is another vital area of public life that can be similarly described”. 

President Rajapaksa made these remarks delivering the keynote address at the launch of Good Intern Programme 2020” two-day workshop at Manelwatta Nagananda International Buddhist Studies Institute in Bollagala Kelaniya today (05).

The workshop organized by Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) is attended by 680 medical graduates awaiting internship. Today’s workshop is the 8th in the series. More than 100 Professors and Medical Consultants will share their thoughts during the workshop.

Commencing his address, the President said Sri Lanka was successful in containing COVID-19 pandemic primarily to due decisive, early action taken by multiple arms of the Government, and the truly outstanding efforts of our health personnel.

The outstanding success Sri Lanka achieved in this endeavour came at a time when even some of the most developed countries in the world were unable to respond adequately to the pandemic. Due to a variety of factors, ranging from a delayed response by their Governments, to the lack of universal health insurance, the unpreparedness of their healthcare institutions, the lack of sufficient testing, to the inadequacy of their management systems, the spread of the virus could not be contained in several developed nations”.

President said he commends, pay tribute to, and express his sincere gratitude to all healthcare professionals and others who contributed to Sri Lanka’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Sri Lanka’s success in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has been justly commended by international institutions including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNICEF, as well as many foreign nations, international commentators and individuals,” the President pointed out. 

One of the core pillars of development is the maintenance of a healthy population. Achieving certain public health goals remains a core responsibility of the Government. I am determined to work towards creating a healthy nation during my tenure as President of this country.”

While there is certainly a need to further strengthen the state healthcare system, I believe it is time that we encourage greater use of the facilities we have within this system said the President adding that some innovative thinking towards absorbing state generated funds into the public healthcare system will ultimately benefit the citizens.

The mandate given to the Government by the people at the Parliamentary Elections just a month ago makes it very clear that the Sri Lankan public is hungry for development and tired of excuses,” the President added.

Secretary to the Ministry of Health Major General (Retire) Sanjeewa Munasinghe, medial officers, President of the GMOA Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and its members and delegates of Society for Health Research and Innovation had attended the inaugural session.

Later, President called on the Chief Executive of Manelwatta Nagananda International Buddhist Studies Institute and Chief Incumbent of Kelaniya Manelwatta Vihara Ven. Dr. Bodagama Chandima Thero.

The Thero gifted the President a replica of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.

President posed for a group photo with Bhikkunis of Buddha Shravika Educational Center in Manelwatta Vihara and children of Dharmachakra Lama Padanama.

2 Responses to “President stresses importance of maintaining centralized healthcare system”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    There is no alternative to a Centralised Government especially in a country small in size as Sri Lanka. Even bigger nations are finding it difficult with decentralised administrations in meeting a threat similar to a pandemic or in husbanding resources for the benefit of all. Provincial Councils must go!

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    There is no alternative to a Centralised Government especially in a country small in size as Sri Lanka. Even bigger nations are finding it difficult with decentralised administrations in meeting a threat similar to a pandemic, in husbanding resources for the benefit of all and security threats of all kinds – terrorism, drug trade, petit thievery, smuggling, illegal immigrants etc etc.

    Provincial Councils are hot beds for destabilizing a country by foreing forces.

    In Sri Lanka, Provincial Councils will give way to Eelam – Eelam will give way to the balkanization of Sri Lanka. Eelam will be the stepping stone to the balkanization of India!

    Provincial Councils must go!

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