Speaking at a media conference held in its office today (10th) the President of All Ceylon Health Services Union Gamini Kumarasinghe said by establishing paying wards in government hospitals patients who come for treatment are divided into two classes and patients who pay for their treatment would definitely get better treatment and others will be neglected he pointed out. He revealed that the fundamental rights of patients would be violated due to the proposed programme. He said during last year there was a shortage of 71 essential drugs in hospitals and more than 100 kinds of substandard drugs were identified. The President of AHHSU said all this pointed to the attempt by the government to breakdown free health services and change to a system where patients will have to pay for health services.
In such an atmosphere the attempt by the government to establish paying wards in government hospitals should be definitely defeated said Mr. Kumarasinghe. He said the hospital security was handed over to the private sector 12 years ago and sanitary service was handed over 8 years ago. Now the Ministry too has admitted that both these sections have collapsed he pointed out.
Establishing paying wards would be the first step of breaking down the free health services completely said Mr. Kumarasinghe and added that his union would write to the Minister regarding this. He said if the government fails to listen to their warning his union would rally with masses in the country and take action to prevent the destruction of free health services in the country.