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Thu, 23 October 2014 18:21:59
Sri Lanka hospital to offer beds to military
17 Nov, 2009 14:24:36
November 17, 2009 (LBO) – A hospital built by India'a Apollo chain that is now under Sri Lankan government control is to offer beds to military personal to become more socially equitable, a senior official said.
The Apollo Hospital in Colombo was renamed Lanka Hospitals after it ended its licensing and support services agreement with Apollo Hospitals Enterprises when it expired on November 16.

The hospital replaced the Apollo brand name and logo with new ones in the move which came in the wake of the hospital coming under state control following a court order.

Lanka Hospitals chairman Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is also the head of the island's defence establishment, said some of the hospitals beds would be reserved for the military.

"In time to come we want to dedicate a certain amount of beds to soldiers," he told a news conference.

The government has improved welfare facilities for soldiers in the run up to and following the end of the 30-year ethnic war.

Sri Lanka has a shortage of hospitals with both government and private hospitals heavily over-crowded.

Government forces defeated the Tamil Tigers in May after a campaign in which Rajapaksa played a key role as defence ministry secretary.

"Though it’s a government hospital running like a private hospital, our main concern is our customers," Rajapaksa said.

He said the hospital's patients come from different strata of society all of whom had to be cared for.

"It’s a different person who is going to be here with a lot of worries and problems. Also, families are going to come with a lot of concerns. So that is why we want to be caring and take care of their problems."

He said the management would make the investments needed ensure the hospital had good quality doctors, nurses and technicians.

"So for that you have to spend. At the same time, to sustain good quality services you have to be profitable. Otherwise your main aim will be lost."

Rajapaksa, a brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, became chairman of Lanka Hospital in August when a new board was appointed representing its controlling shareholder Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.

This was after Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, which had taken control of the privately built Apollo Hospital, went back under state control on a court order.

In June the Supreme Court reversed an earlier sale of the state insurer to the Distilleries group run by tycoon Harry Jayawardena, saying the privatization deal was flawed.

Distilleries group had bought control of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation which in September 2006 wrested control of Colombo's Apollo Hospital which was built by the Indian healthcare firm of the same name.

Apollo then sold out its own 30 percent stake, but the hospital group was retained as a technical partner initially and its name continued to be used by the hospital.

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