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Government Gazette

Following SC judgment, minister orders:

Easy access to state hospitals for disabled

* Directive also applies to private hospitals

* Twenty five percent Lankans with restricted abilities

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena ordered ministry officials to provide accessibility and safety features, meeting specified regulations and standards, at state hospitals and at all state health institutions, for disabled persons, following a Supreme Court judgment on April 27.

According to a spokesman all private hospitals also need to follow the directive issued by the Health Ministry under the direction of Minister Sirisena.

Twenty five percent of the total population of Sri Lanka are with restricted abilities and they include elders, pregnant mothers, disabled, sick and blind.

Persons recovering from illnesses, and the visually impaired are also included in this category. All of them need easy access to buildings. The Health Ministry will take the lead soon by providing easy access facilities at all state owned health institutions, considering the requirements of people belonging to the above categories.

Building plans in the health sector without easy access facilities for disabled persons will not be approved hereafter. This will ensure the implementation of the court order given recently in connection with constructing all new buildings with access facilities for the disabled.

The Supreme Court order was a result of a Fundamental Rights application filed by Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera who has proved his competence and has wider experience in designing public facilities. Several programmes held under the direction of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena in connection with providing easy access facilities to State health institutions have been implemented with the assistance of Diriya Padanama, he said.

‘It is now compulsory to construct all new buildings with easy access facilities for disabled persons. But some other categories such as elders, pregnant women, visually handicapped persons and persons who are sick or recovering from surgeries also need the same facility.

Therefore the Health Ministry will take action to give them easy access facilities to State health institutions and private hospitals, he added.

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