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'Entire health sector should be exempted from VAT'

16 September 2016 02:15 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In response to the amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT) which was announced by the government on Wednesday, a leading consumer rights group yesterday said the entire health sector should be exempted from VAT.

In a letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena , the National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection said the entire health sector should be exempted in order to ease the tax burden of the people.

“The amount of funds which the state spends for health could be reduced if the private sector health services are provided at an affordable price", the letter signed by National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection President Ranjith Withanage said.

“We wonder as to whether you have also become helpless just like the poor patients despite being the President of this country,” the letter added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Withanage when contacted by the Daily Mirror said the exemption of OPD charges, laboratory charges and dialysis charges from VAT is hardly sufficient as medicines and other equipment such as injections are often have to be purchased from the private sector even if a patient seek treatment from a state hospital.

Further Mr. Withanage called the statement made by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne on Wednesday that hospital and surgery charges will be regulated is a pledge which is not going to be kept.

“The Minister has been saying this for some time but no concrete steps are taken to implement it,” he added. (Yohan Perera)

  Comments - 13

  • Sofia Friday, 16 September 2016 01:04 PM

    OK NMCRP - please inform Hon President how to bridge the gap in the budget - criticise constructively.

    bandulaV Friday, 16 September 2016 03:56 PM

    It is the doctors who charge the patients who are sick. They are the people who rob patients. They should pay the VAT from their pocket

    Premala Friday, 16 September 2016 07:48 AM

    This government must be the only government in the world which treats sickness as a luxury. It is a sick government.

    Suffering voter. Friday, 16 September 2016 07:50 AM

    The Govt will learn a bitter lesson at the very next elections. via DM Android App

    Premalal Friday, 16 September 2016 08:25 AM

    The only country taxing the sick.

    Antony Friday, 16 September 2016 08:39 AM

    Here is a reason for GMOA to strike, but they won't as VAT on health services will not impact them.

    Bala Friday, 16 September 2016 09:49 AM

    Everyone wants everything for nothing. If revenue not of concern to these fellows, why not declare country bankrupt and let chinese take over to recover debt. No real patriotism.

    ralahamy Friday, 16 September 2016 09:53 AM

    How about charging income Tax from the doctors who indulge in private practice at the expense of the poor man?

    Bandula Friday, 16 September 2016 10:11 AM

    This is a very important and reasonable request to H E President on behalf of the public. People go to Private Hospitals because the Government Hospitals are unable to cope the massive number of patients seeking medical facilities and not because thy are filthy rich or to seek comfort.. On top of this many doctors in the government service are most irresponsible with their political and union activities and are not concerned about the patients.If there is any need to charge VAT on health services it should be charged only from individuals and politicians who get admitted to private hospitals to avoid being taken into custody for their corrupt activities.

    Chana Friday, 16 September 2016 11:04 AM

    This time pass people's focus on VAT increase through 2 high profiles arrests in the news. The saying "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." - Abraham Lincoln

    karthi Friday, 16 September 2016 11:25 AM

    VAT on entire health sector must be exempted specially to help the aging population who finds very difficult to meet their medical expenses.

    karunakaran Friday, 16 September 2016 11:38 AM

    VAT is an indirect tax paid directly by the consumer through the service provider. It is a Tax to assist the coperates to minimise their tax liability. It is not needed for a small country like ours. Input tax credit should be given only for exporters and all other sectors should be treated equally. Efficient management of existing taxes is very important.Country can progress only with productivity.

    Sofia Friday, 16 September 2016 12:06 PM

    OK NMCRP - please also inform Hon Pres


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