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Government Gazette

Govt to re-open 97 rural hospitals

The government is set to re-open 97 rural state hospitals that had been closed down for years due to lack of manpower and other resources.

These include 80 hospitals in the Northern and Eastern Provinces which were non-functional during a large part of the last 30 years, due to terrorist activities.

In addition 17 other dilapidated rural state hospitals in Kandy and Hambantota districts are to be renovated and equipped to serve the public, according to a directive issued by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena.

According to a ministry spokesman around 270 new doctors are set to join the state health sector next month and a majority of them will be posted to the above hospitals. According to him, these hospitals would also be fully-equipped and geared to meet any eventuality.

Also all upgraded hospitals would be fully-functional before the end of the year.

"It is the view of the minister that the heavy congestion seen in major state hospitals is largely due to lack of resources in smaller and rural hospitals."

"His view is that these rural hospitals over the years have not developed in comparison to major provincial hospitals. Thus his intention is to expand the rural healthcare system to reduce the strain on bigger provincial hospitals," the Ministry spokesman said.

According to the Health Ministry, the percentage of patients who sought medical care from state hospitals has increased by 20 percent in past three years.

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