Provide 24 hour OPD services – President directs health authorities; A move for a Patient friendly health service
The President Sunday directed the Secretary, Health Ministry to initiate a system to keep all Out Patient Departments (OPD) in the Hospitals open to the public, 24 hours.
The Hospitals in Sri Lanka offer health care services to people free of charge and as a result the OPD’s are always over crowded and the patients are put into difficulties with extended waiting time. This has become a central issue in the health care service.
Outpatient services have gradually become an essential component in the health care systems of the hospitals. The President has issued this new directive with the aim to serve the Nation to build a healthier community and to be recognized as one of the best in the region. Maintaining an exceptional and compassionate quality while offering cost effective health care solutions of international standards is the other objectives of this new initiatives.
The health care services are provided by government hospitals mostly during the day times and the patient have to rush in the morning hours to get their turns reserved. But this arrangement appears not to be patient friendly because the timing of services do not tally with the needs of the patient thus making it not customer friendly.
Generally patients prefer to consult their doctors at the end of their days work. Since the services such as consultations, laboratory and other tests provided by the government hospitals are not available in the evening hours the patients tend to approach private medical services for their health needs at high cost despite the government spends billions of rupees to maintain the free health services.
Government believes that every person has the right to be treated with the utmost respect and consideration. Therefore the government has taken these new initiatives to care about patients through 24 hour services..