November 19, 2019
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    Medical research should be increased to Rs. 5 bn - PM Featured

    October 23, 2019

    Money allocated for medical research must be increased to Rs. five billion from the present Rs.two billion, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the National Health Research Symposium held at Water’s Edge Hotel, Battaramulla yesterday he said that to get the maximum use of the increased funding, the structural changes need to be done in the research field. “You have to change the base and have more research institutions. Sri Lanka had one of the world’s first hospitals in Mihintale. There were kings in the Sri Lankan history who wrote texts about Ayurveda,”the PM said.

    He said Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had made a qualitative difference in the country’s health services. The state hospital network has been modernized and the process is continuing.In research, we should not ignore traditional systems.Through the the free health system, Sri Lanka eliminated Polio and Malaria and achieved several other milestones, the Premier said.The Prime Minister pointed out that the Information Technology is going to make a radical change in medicine. Now the bio metrics come in identity cards. More research is required for the new developments in the medical field. We have to catch up the research. India has a lot of centres for research, but Sri Lanka is yet to be achieve this, the Premier said.
    At least two of our oldest medical faculties, Colombo and Peradeniya should have research facilities. We should not prevent those two faculties from giving their own post graduate medical degrees. If the post graduate medical degrees and research combined and tide up, we can expect a qualitative difference coming up in research. Once the base is organised, then we can see more results, the Prime Minister said.“Our universities must offer post graduate medical degrees lest they will remain as institutions which offer four year courses in medical science and social sciences. The National Hospital of Sri Lanka is huge and it can carry out its own research. We should encourage pharmaceuticals companies to spend more on research. A National Health Insurance Scheme needs to be established, the Prime Minister added.
    Addressing the event Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that at the moment the Health Ministry allocates Rs. two (2) Billion for medical research including the Medical Research Institute (MRI), other medical researches and for researchers. The medical researches should be high in quality and they should be in-depth. Stem cell transplant facilities will be made available in Sri Lanka soon. Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Prof. Balram Bhargava delivered the Keynote address. Health Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera, and the National Health Research Council Chairperson Prof. Rohini Senevirathne addressed the event.


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