Sri Lanka to recruit more tax-payer paid doctors

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tax-payer funded health service is running below the optimal level of doctors required and more will be recruited this by the end of next year, parliament was told.

Sri Lanka’s state health service was operating with 20,446 doctors though the official cadre was 22,100, Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said, answering a question.

By the end of 2020, it was planned to recruit 2,106 doctors to the state service.

Sri Lanka has given the freedom for state doctors to provide services through ‘private practice’ during working hours in the daytime and also after work in a partial privatization of the state health services to anyone who is willing to pay.

Private entrepreneurs provide them with ‘channel centres’ to meet patients.

Sri Lanka’s Government Medical Officer’s Association has blocked private medical colleges, reducing the number of doctors qualifying.

Keeping supply tight, allow doctors to charge higher prices from patients in the privatized practice.

However many doctors work longer hours in private practice, helping expand supply and reduce prices.

The market has also responded with retired doctors also providing services, further expanding the supply of services. (Colombo/Sept15/2019)

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