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Top priority for health and education, says Minister

GENEVA: Sri Lanka has allocated the highest amount of funds for health and education sectors, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

He was addressing the 60th World Health Assembly at the World Health Organisation in Geneva on May 16.

De Silva said under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership the Government has increased funds allocated for the health sector by 50 per cent.

“The highest amount allocated for the health sector so far Rs. 64,000 million was recorded this year,” the Minister said.

Explaining arrangements by the Ministry to upgrade the health sector de Silva said 1,000 nurses will be recruited while 3,000 paramedics will be trained. He said 3,000 new midwives will also be recruited.

“Sri Lankan nurses and other health workers have been given the opportunity to work in foreign countries and obtain overseas training. Fifteen thousand nurses will be sent to the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia under this programme,” the Minister said.

Sri Lanka has successfully eradicated polio and also made a significant progress in controlling dengue and chikungunya. The Government is trying its best to offer a quality health service to the public,” the Minister said. Executive Director, WHO, Dr Margaret Chan chaired the meeting.

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