5.1 The Health System
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. This fund could provide subsidies for doctor visits with a small co-payment made by the patient. This co-payment should be small enough not to discourage patients to visit a doctor when they are ill, and it should be reasonable enough for them not to visit the doctor when they really don’t have to. The same arrangements could be duplicated with specialist visits as well. This can be extended to other systems of medicine in Sri Lanka, such as Ayurveda and Yunani which will be incorporated into a national scheme.
It will be legislated that everybody is an organ donor unless they choose to opt out. Anybody should have the right to opt out of this without citing any reason. An offence occurs if anybody including family members hinders the organ donation process of a deceased person who has not opted out. A national registry will be maintained on organ donations, like cadaveric organs. The live organ donation process will be tightly regulated. Legislation will be passed with punitive measures, including imprisonment for those who are found to be breaching the law.
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. The assisted dying legislation, if agreed to, should be subjected to a conscientious vote in the Parliament.
A detailed study of Sri Lanka’s abortion laws will be conducted, and appropriate and necessary legislative changes will be made. The legislation that is put forward to parliament should also be subject to a conscientious vote.
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.
The parliamentary committee will investigate the COGESL arrangements and also make appropriate recommendations on funding arrangements.