Colombo District MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, Founder of 1990 Suwa Seriya Pre Hospital Care Ambulance Service, stated that the 1990 Suwa Seriya Ambulance Service, which was launched amidst various obstacles, celebrates its fifth anniversary today on July 28. He emphasized that the infrastructure needs to be further developed to enhance the service rendered to the country by this service in future.
He points out that at a time when the country is facing the Covid-19 epidemic, the magnificent service rendered to the country by this service is now being honoured by the entire country.
“Today, this service is celebrating its fifth anniversary with great pride. I salute all, most importantly the almost 1,500 Suwa Seriya staff-led voluntarily by Mr Dumindra Ratnayake and the Board along with CEO Mr Sohan de Silva who is totally committed to this service and responsible for having brought it to where it is today. It is very important to further develop over the coming decade the service rendered to the people by this service during these five years. Therefore, on this occasion of the fifth anniversary of this service, I urge the Government to study the future needs and take steps to further strengthen the infrastructure facilities of this service. It will definitely be a very important social investment.”
On July 28, 2016, the 1990 Suwa Seriya pilot project was launched in Western and Southern Provinces using 88 ambulances, with a grant of US $ 7.6 million from India. Following the success of this pilot project, India again donated US $ 15.2 million to Sri Lanka to launch an ambulance service islandwide.
At present, 297 nos of 1990 Suwa Seriya ambulances are operational throughout the country and is managed entirely at the expense of the Government through the Suwa Seriya Foundation established by 1990 Suwa Seriya Foundation Act No. 18 of 2018.
“The last five years have been five years of healing for the country. Such services do not exist even in more developed countries than ours. Anyone who has taken its service will definitely appreciate its importance. We have been successful in achieving almost all the targets set by us during these five years. I thank former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for supporting me in launching this service, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for taking this service forward as planned, Minister of Health (Mrs.) Pavithra Wanniarachchi and State Minister of Health (Mrs.) Sudarshani Fernandopulle under whom the service is currently gazetted” he said.
As of now 910,173 patients have been admitted to emergency and critical care through this service and the average time taken to reach a patient in the whole island is just 14 minutes and 28 seconds.