APHNH commends members and staff on strong healthcare response during COVID-19

The Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH) praised the tireless efforts and response of Sri Lanka’s private healthcare providers for supporting national healthcare requirements during COVID-19.

With the virus placing unprecedented demands on Sri Lanka’s health system, APHNH President, Dr. Lakith Peiris explained how private sector hospitals and staff were quick to take up the burden of providing other essential services for the country’s population, thereby easing the burden on the national healthcare system.

“The efforts of private hospitals, practitioners and staff were crucial to ensuring that Sri Lankans receive quality and timely care for their essential health requirements during this time. Hospitals continued to provide elective surgeries, laboratory services and, pharmacies which were operating around the clock”, he said. He further reiterated the crucial role played by the private sector in sparking off a wave of digitization to ensure that healthcare was made accessible, despite the severe limitations caused by the pandemic.

“We are immensely grateful for the incredible cadre of medical practitioners and healthcare providers in both the public and private sectors. Their tireless dedication ensured that all Sri Lankans were able to access the highest quality of healthcare, thereby supporting the public sector and preventing it from becoming over-burdened.” he explained.   

Sri Lanka’s healthcare response has been strengthened to address the concerns posed by the ongoing pandemic. “While the probability of a second wave of the pandemic is a reality, private sector healthcare providers will continue to operate under stringent guidelines and protocols to ensure that all Sri Lankans are guaranteed access to routine healthcare, despite challenges”, he affirmed.

With over 150 private hospitals and nursing homes in the country, private healthcare has long served a complementary role to public healthcare in Sri Lanka. Dr. Peiris went on to elaborate on the private sector’s commitment to guaranteeing the highest quality of healthcare by working with outstanding medical service providers.

“We guarantee that all of our doctors are registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council. To practice the discipline, there are standards on the level of medical education, professional conduct and medical ethics that our doctors must strictly abide by” he noted.

APHNH is also committed to ensuring that para-medical services such as nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, emergency medical technicians, medical laboratory technicians, pharmacists etc. are trained thoroughly. The Association has been working tirelessly over the past few years to create and implement educational courses for para-medical service providers. One such example is the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 6, developed by APHNH for nursing. This qualification has been approved by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA). The Association hopes to develop more courses in the future for other para-medical service providers.

Similarly, APHNH has begun work to develop Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) to further improve the quality of healthcare provision and precision in Sri Lanka.

The Private Medical Institutions (Registration) Act No. 21 of 2006 by the Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) is tasked with ensuring that private medical entities provide safe and efficient medical services to all Sri Lankans. APHNH’s members and all other private medical institutions in Sri Lanka are governed by this act.

Moving forward, Dr. Peiris reiterated the APHNH and its membership’s full and total commitment to assisting the Government, public health officials as well as doctors, medical, administrative and support staff in the public healthcare system in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in ensuring a safe, healthy and secure future for all Sri Lankans.