Minister Rajitha Senaratne said on the occasion that various parties, especially doctors’ associations, leveled allegations against the government when the ambulance service commenced. Those allegations have now been proven to be false, he said.
The ambulance service, which followed a request by the Sri Lankan PM from his Indian counterpart, has so far benefited around five million people, said Senaratne. Many more will benefit once it is expanded. Health ministry statistics show around 25,000 deaths due to road accidents every year. This ambulance service took 58,441 victims of accidents to hospitals. Previously, three wheelers were used. At present, it gives employment to 489 Sri Lankans, and it will increase to 1,600. They will receive training in India.
Senaratne also said the government will acquire 400 ambulances as well as eight helicopters and 24 other vehicles to ensure a good ambulance service. Most deaths of accident victims are due to the failure to take them to hospital quickly. This ambulance service will help save many lives. It is a victory of the Yahapaalana government to take patients to hospital by ambulance, he added.