PHM Sri Lanka: Preparing for PHA4: on Free Trade, Women’s issues, access to medicines etc

14 Mar 2018

PHM Monthly Meeting 06.03.2018

This meeting was held at the usual venue of Nagarodaya Centre on Danister de Silva Mawatha, Borella, Colombo 8.

The meeting was composed of two parts. During the first part, Dr. Amila Chadrasiri, Open Government Partnership (OGP) Coordinator of the Ministry of Health made a presentation titled “National Health Performance Framework”.  He had been invited by Sravodaya OGP Section on behalf of PHM.

He discussed the three objectives of the OGP and how public engagement should take place with emphasis on transparency. Efficiency, effectiveness and equity that should be there in health care delivier also was focused during this presentation. Although the health seeking performance was better among the Sri Lankans, he said that there are problems as health risk factors that are more on Sri Lankan males.  He focused on shortfalls such as inadequacies of drug supply, issues with providing good  service etc.

At the end of the presentation, the participants expressed their views about the role of the hospital committees,  services offered by private hospitals, , reluctance of many doctors prescribe drugs in generic names etc. Mr. Sirimal Peiris mentioned that OGP should take Primary Health Care (PHC) principals (five pillars) into consideration. Holistic health care, Multi-sectoral coordination, Social justice and equity, Appropriate technology and Community participation are the five pillars but Sri Lankan National Health policy has no mention about alternative health care and  no attention is given to multi-sectoral approach as well. He suggested that all approaches should be based on those principles in future action and requested the attention of all participating organizations.

Mr. Nishantha Preethiraj, Sarvodaya Coordinator of OGP announced that this dialogue would continue and at some points the involvement of partner organizations of PHM may be required.



During the next part of the meeting, Mr. Sirimal Peiris informed about PHM4 conference in Nov. 2018 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. He mentioned the need for presenting papers / case studies on several key issues and committees were formed under the leadership of some organizations specializing in the particular areas. The organizations selected to lead the committees were:
•    Community Strength Development Foundation – Sex workers, Transgender Issues and HIV
•    Janavabodha Kendraya – Issues of Telungu speaking minority and other minorities
•    Issues with fisheries – NAFSO
•    Alternative medicine – Dr. D V P E de Silva
•    Free Trade Zone issues – Da Bindu Organization
•    Women’s issues – Savisthri Women’s Movement

With this, the proceedings closed and there were 25 organizations attending. There was a representative from Transparency International also to witness the progress.