April 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s insurance ombudsman has advocated the creation of a similar office to cover the island’s rapidly growing private hospital sector and settle complaints by patients. Wickrama Weerasooriya said the concept of ombudsman is now proving to bring quick relief while legal delays could be attributed to lawyers and litigation usually takes a long time to settle.
Except one case, in all other cases insurance companies agreed with his decisions and payments were accordingly made, Weerasooriya said.
Both parties were happy and satisfied as the ombudsman saves a lot of time, he told a recent public forum organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and Friedrich Neumann Foundation.
He said that there around 196 private hospitals in the island and it would be very helpful for the people who are at the receiving end of various injustices, if an ombudsman is appointed to deal with complaints.
Successive Sri Lankan government have encouraged private health care in recent years because of the inability of the poorly-funded and over-crowded state hospitals to cope with the demand that led to long queues and waiting periods.