Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Lanka Hospital branch in Seychelles on Monday as part of his three-day official visit to the island nation.
Sirisena was given a guided tour of the facility and was acquainted with the services provided in Seychelles. Sirisena unveiled a plaque at the medical centre in commemoration of his visit.
“This visit further enhances and strengthen the relationship between Seychelles and Sri Lanka. I would like to thank all the Seychellois for the trust that you have placed in us and we will ensure that all Seychellois that who walks into this medical institute will get the best possible medical attention,” said Sarath Paranavitane, the chairman of the Lanka Hospitals Corporation.
Lanka Hospitals is one of the main health facilities where the Seychelles’ government sends locals for overseas surgical treatment. Lanka Hospitals, in an agreement with the Health Care Agency of Seychelles, is providing specialised services in Cardiology, Neurology, Urology, Oncology, Gynecology and Obstetrics.
The Lanka Hospital branch in Seychelles – a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean – is the first branch to open its doors outside of Sri Lanka. It was the local Minister of Health, Jean-Paul Adam, who officially opened the health care facility in June this year.
The head of operations at the branch, Sanjeewa Ranbadu, told SNA last week that Lanka Hospital and the Seychelles’ Ministry of Health have a long relationship.
“Lanka Hospital receives a lot of Seychellois patients to Sri Lanka for surgery. We wanted the patients to have post-operation care in Seychelles as it is not easy for them to travel to Sri Lanka for post-operation care,” said Ranbadu.
He explained that though post-operation care was the initial reason to establish a branch in Seychelles, the health care facility now offers an array of medical services.
Located at the ex-Seychelles People’s United Party (SPUP) museum on Francis Rachel Street, in the capital city of Victoria, the facility offers general practitioner care, has a family physician, provides patients with around 125 laboratory tests and has a full-fledged pharmacy.
The chief executive of the Lanka Hospitals Corporation, Prasad Medawatte, said that during the past five years the hospital has treated over 1,000 Seychellois.
“All of them are on follow-up medicine and those medicines should be available in Seychelles, so that is one of the main reasons why we have the pharmacy here,” said Medawatte.
Ranbadu said that having a Lanka Hospital branch in Seychelles will be cost effective for the local Ministry of Health.
“The surgical procedure charges will not defer greatly but definitely there will be a reduction in cost when it comes to accommodation and travel,” said Ranbadu.
At the moment the private clinic is setting up telemedicine, where patients, located in Seychelles, will be consulted by a doctor in Sri Lanka, through the help of technology. Officials expect an X-ray unit and ultrasound unit to open next year.
The branch employs ten staff – five Seychellois and five Sri Lankans.
“Since some patients cannot travel to Sri Lanka, we want to bring in our surgical team, who will use the current theatre in Seychelles to carry out surgeries,” Ranbadu added.
Earlier on Monday, Sirisena visited the Seychelles Hospital, where a donation of pharmaceutical and medical equipment was made.
Sirisena is the first president to make a state visit to Seychelles since President Danny Faure assumed office in October 2016 and the second Sri Lankan President to visit the island nation in the last five years.