5. Health & Well-being of the Nation
We envisage a health system based on individual needs and not according to the size of that individual’s purse. This will be our overarching policy position.
Medicare Levy 2 percent: This can be achieved by a universal medical system where everybody pays a small percentage such as two percent of their income to a National Health Fund.
Organ Donation: It will be legislated that everybody is an organ donor unless they choose to opt out.
We will invest heavily in research in creating organs through the 3D printing technology.
Expansion of palliative care (if available presently) and provisions for assisted dying will need to be examined.
A detailed study of Sri Lanka’s abortion laws will be conducted, and appropriate and necessary legislative changes will be made.
A reference will be provided to the parliamentary Investigatory Committee on Health to carry out a detailed study on the role of private hospitals, medical insurance, community health centres and public day surgery places, dental health, mental health, ophthalmology etc., to articulate necessary policy positions to overhaul the health system for the benefit of all, not just the privileged few.
We recognise the well-known fact that well-being contributes to health and health contributes to well-being and that well-being is a composite of various objective and subjective elements. We will therefore establish a National Well-being Development Authority (NWDA), the tasks of which will include, conducting an appropriate technical study conducted by specialists in the field to select an approach to determine an appropriate composite that can be used to measure national well-being and happiness, what indicators can be used for its measurement and practically how the required data can be collected. This will be a technically complex and politically sensitive process.
Happiness should signify the fullness of life one enjoys, personal development as a human being and meaningfulness of one’s existence. So, material development is complemented with developments in community, culture, relationships, spirituality, psychological well-being and harmony with the environment. Happiness of a person comprises of both subjective and objective elements. One component would be psychological well-being, which is constituted by good health, education, living standards, environmental diversity, resilience, good governance, cultural diversity, community and leisure time.
If a population is over stressed due to cost of living pressures, instability, human rights violations, trauma, death, destruction and war and intense longing for peace its morale would decrease. The number of suicides in a society also indicates the stress levels it is being subjected to. The causes could vary from mental health issues, addictions, relationship issues and the social stigma attached to certain incidents etc.
Low morale may also accelerate people leaving the country searching for better opportunities for them and their families. Thus, managing morale is challenged by the level of societal and individual stress a population has to endure as a whole. To keep improving the morale, peoples’ participation, interaction, consultation and communication will be extremely significant and need to be incorporated into the policies and procedures of the government.
Spirituality is a broad concept regarded as an internal process concerned with finding a sense of meaning and purpose of life. It is about connection/relationship with the self, with others, with environment and with some higher power beyond the self, people believe in. Spirituality may affect the way people understand and give consideration to health, illness, diagnoses, recovery and loss. Therefore, for health and health care policy considerations, it is vital to find out how a population is spiritual/religious.
We believe that well-being correlates fairly closely with particular forms of government and the outcomes of particular government policies. Happiness is not an end in itself, but a resultant of realising other relevant social and economic goals. We believe that public policies can and do influence the overall distribution of well-being of the population making most people upwardly mobile.
In practical terms, increasing the well-being of population can be initiated by incorporating appropriate policies in school education, thus preparing young people for the full demands of life, taking into consideration the patient experience and well-being in health policy formulation, implementing policies that would encourage better interaction among neighbours in a community etc.
The arts, culture, heritage and creativity are fundamental to Sri Lanka’s identity as a society and to the success of its national economy. Art and the culture directly contribute to the prosperity, liveability and happiness of our communities and promote the cultural vitality of our society to the rest of the world.
Our vision is for building a creative and inclusive nation. We will work towards developing, preserving, protecting and promoting arts, cultures and heritages of all communities who have made Sri Lanka their home. We will aim to develop and support creative initiatives that contribute to acknowledging, respecting, interpreting and building upon our rich and diverse cultural heritages.
We will take steps to preserve our country’s unique and rich ancient arts and cultural heritage, while introducing the salient features of the rest of the world’s art and cultural heritage. Our cultural diversity needs to be recognised, respected and celebrated. This will contribute to strengthening the multi-cultural social fabric and healing the wounds of the past not only locally, but even beyond our national boundaries. Many different but equally valid forms of artistic expressions would encourage people to develop understanding, tolerance and respect for varied opinions and approaches.
We will look into sporting activities not simply to partake in the spirit of sports but also to build up relationships with the international community and put Sri Lanka on the map to benefit the country economically. It is not an exaggeration to state that when in government we will use sporting activities as a precursor for investment and trade relationships. As sport is a global business, sending a strong anti-corruption message within and through sport may be of help in the fight against corruption in sports worldwide. All sports bodies and events should be organised while respecting human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption requirements.
We will take strong anti-corruption measures such as, for example, all sport organisations to include transparency, accountability, integrity and democracy in their day-to-day work and internal compliance systems.