Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that the third largest hospital in the country, the Kurunegala General Hospital will be constructed as a modern hospital.
He was speaking at a meeting held at the Kurunegala District Secretariat Auditorium to discuss issues related to the General Hospital and other hospitals in the district.
The Prime Minister instructed Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to immediately fill the shortage of doctors, nurses and health staff at the Kurunegala General Hospital, parallel to other hospitals, until the construction of the new hospital is completed. Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the shortage will be covered in a month. The Prime Minister also asked relevant persons to submit the basic plan of the hospital with rough estimates within two months.
About 1.2 million patients are treated at this hospital every year and according to the 2019 statistics report, the number of patients who received treatment from the outpatient department alone that year was 630,000. About 1,000 new births occur monthly. The hospital has 2,374 beds and performs nearly 18,000 surgeries a year. Government Medical Officers’ Association President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya made a special revelation at this meeting. He pointed out that the total number of specialist doctors in the country which was limited to 600 from 1948-2008 was increased from 2008-2015 during the tenure of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa to 2,100 and that number has decreased to 2,086 during the period 2015-2020. He added that 2,000 out of 4,000 doctors had left the country due to delays in medical appointments during the previous government, or did not know what had happened.
Dr. Padeniya said that although the number of patients admitted to the Maharagama Cancer Hospital was two or three a day, the number has now increased to 74 to 78 per day. He requested the Prime Minister to stop the use of agrochemicals and focus on traditional agriculture or organic farming.
Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Johnston Fernando, North Western Province Governor Raja Collure, State Minister D. B. Herath, MPs Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Jayaratne Herath, Shantha Bandara, Y.G. Ratnasekera, Asanka Nawarathna, Sumith Udukumbura, Samanpriya Herath, Manjula Disanayake, Prof. Charitha Herath, Kurunegala Mayor Thushara Sanjeewa, Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath, Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister, Attorney-at-Law Chaminda Kularatne, Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena, North Western Province Chief Secretary P.B.M. Sirisena, Kurunegala District Secretary R.M.R. Ratnayake, the Kurunegala General Hospital acting Director Dr. Pramitha Shanthilatha, GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya and many others were present.