Govt spent over Rs 6 billion on Suwaseriya ambulance service

The Government has spent over Rs. 6 billion on the 1990 Suwaseriya ambulance service since its launch. Since the commencement of the service, it received 4,250,971 calls and responded to 921,508 incidents.

From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ambulances have been working on a 24-hour non-stop routine, transporting Covid-19 positive patients to hospitals apart from responding to regular emergencies, a media release by the State Ministry of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and Covid Disease Control stated.

While the Suwaseriya pre-hospital ambulance service has 297 ambulances covering all districts, plans are already in place to increase this number by another 112 by the end of the year, reducing the average response time to eight minutes, from the present 13 minutes.

The number of EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) too will be enhanced this year. The Board of Directors of Suwaseriya will secure its own call centre and training centre with donor funding, which will help with better safety, security and sustainability of the operation.

With advanced digital technology used in the Suwaseriya operation, newer services will be introduced to save lives, especially the older generation, to support the inevitable demographic transition, the release added.

In appreciation of the professional service rendered by the Board of Directors of the 1990 Suwaseriya Ambulance Service during the past three years, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reappointed the same Board of Directors for another three years. In accordance with the appointment in 2019, the Board stepped down at the end of their three-year tenure and the reappointment was confirmed by the President’s Office on August 11, 2021.

This reappointment was initially proposed and supported by State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and Covid Disease Control, Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle.

The Board of Directors consist of professionals of diverse disciplines and expertise.

The Board also comprises ex-officio members of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and the Police. The entire Board provides an honorary service.

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