Sri Lanka: Budget 2019 - Health

The appropriation bill and budget proposals for 2019 includes allocations of Rs. 232.7 billion for the health sector. This includes Rs. 182 billion recurrent expenditure and Rs. 50.7 billion capital expenditure.

The appropriation bill includes allocation for medical supplies of Rs. 45 billion, and bio-medical equipment of Rs. 5.6 billion. The allocation for the Thriposhaprogramme is Rs. 3 billion. 

Rs. 24.8 billion is allocated in the appropriations bill for investments in improving the quality of infrastructure in government health facilities.

In addition to infrastructure there is significant investment into patient care. Rs. 1.6 billion is allocated for primary health care units to develop coordination of patient care over time, referral networks, and treatment follow up measures.

The Suwaseriya Ambulance programme has been extremely successful at addressing emergency treatment and critical interventions, saving lives across the country. Rs. 2 billion has been allocated through the appropriations bill to support the programme, and a further Rs. 600 million is proposed over 2 years through the budget to establish 300 base stations across the country, to further improve service delivery. 

With the increase of non-communicable diseases the necessity for palliative care for those who are terminally ill has arisen – Rs. 50 million is allocated to establish capacity building for such treatment. Significant support is provided in the budget for investment in elderly care facilities. 

Investments to detect and treat CKDU continue and Rs. 550 million is allocated through the budget. 

Rs. 100 million is allocated for the control of rabies through a sterilization programme, which will also help solve concerns about the stray dog population. 

It is also necessary to address skill requirements in the private sector. Towards this end the budget will share costs for training of nurses and pharmaceutical professionals by developing an “apprenticeship model”. During the apprenticeship the government will provide a stipend (nurses Rs. 10,000 and pharmaceutical professionals Rs. 15,000) to support the salary of the trainee.
In addition, the appropriation bill allocates Rs. 1.3 billion for a nursing faculty. 

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