Private hospitals invest heavily in their properties to provide a high quality service and need to recover this investment, according to Dr Manjula Karunaratne, Director/COO of the Asiri Group of Hospitals, adding that the new Asiri Central in Colombo cost Rs 5 billion to build.
He was responding to a query by a journalist at a news briefing on the issue of private hospitals charging massive sums of money for surgery and medical treatment.
Dr Karunaratne was speaking at the launch this week in Colombo of Healthcare Exhibition 2011 at the BMICH from March 4 to 6 where government and private medical institutions would come together to promote medical care in the country.
Dr Karunaratne said that some high quality and sophisticated equipment are very expensive that recovering the investment would not be that easy. He said that their electricity bill alone comes to between Rs 6 to 10 million and this cost is divided by the number of rooms and that alone would be around Rs 1,000 per room.
He said that they are equipped with an advanced neuro surgery unit including surgery for Epilepsy at the new Central Hospital, adding however that the charges are very moderate compared to the massive sums of money Sri Lankan patients have to pay in other countries for such surgery and the difference of such savings would be in millions in some cases.
Dr Amal Harsha De Silva, Provincial Director of Health Services – Western Province said that the main purposes of the March exhibition is to educate people on the state-of-the-art healthcare technology, proper disease prevention methods, the recent changes in the health sector, effective treatment methods, the best services available in hospitals and laboratories etc.
He said that the public needs to be aware of the latest facilities to help them in their ailments as they still think Sri Lankan medical profession use age-old treatment without updating themselves. He said that this exhibition will also change the misconception of the citizens of this country seeking treatments abroad bypassing their experts for minor ailments.
The exhibition is supported by the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka College of Pediatricians, College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka , Sri Lanka College of Venereologists, Sri Lanka College of Ophthalmologists, Ceylon College of Physcians, Association of Sri Lanka Neurologists, National Stroke Association and the Sri Lanka Dental Association.