The first group of health workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Sri Lanka would be the “Suwaseriya’ pre-hospital Mobile healthcare staff, Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID19 Prevention State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle said yesterday.
The 1990, ‘Suwaseriya’ prehospital healthcare service has done a commendable job to control the spread of the pandemic, and therefore they face a major risk from the pandemic and stand as forerunners to get the first jab among others.
The State Minister made these comments when she paid a visit to the 1990 Suwaseriya Foundation at Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte yesterday. The Suwaseriya officials told her that 297 ambulances are in operation islandwide currently for pre-hospital healthcare service delivery with the help of a staff strength comprising 1,399.
Suwaseriya receives around 5,300 telephone calls a day for help and since it has been launched, 3,424,590 calls have been received by last week. It costs about Rs.5,332 a day to maintain a Suwaseriya ambulance. The total expenditure to run the service during the last ten months stood at Rs.1,500 million until last week.
The 1990 Suwaseriya prehospital healthcare service, a brainchild of former Economic Policies and Public Distribution State Minister Dr. Harsha De Silva, was launched with the financial backing of India in 2016.
At the request made by Dr. De Silva, the Indian government donated US$ 7.55 million to launch the free healthcare project.(SANDUN A. JAYASEKERA)