Medi-snippets: Personal Health Number for patients | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Personal Health Number for patients

13 January, 2019

A Healthcare Recipient Identification System ( HRIS) initiated at selected hospitals in the Galle and Kalutara districts and successfully concluded in August last year, is currently being evaluated. Officials of the Policy Development Office of the Prime Minister’s Office who were said to have visited the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital and Elpitiya Base Hospital in the Galle district to assess the project on the Personal Health Number ( PHN), have reportedly revealed that in units where the PHN was used, the waiting time for treatment of patients was drastically reduced.

The officers observed that in units where the PHN card was used, patients were properly identified and channelled to relevant service stations of the hospital without waiting in long queues . At the Emergency Unit of the Karapitiya Hospital, as reported, critical patients were promptly identified, using cutting edge technology assisted by an attendant , and given priority treatment, thus saving time and lives.

The Health Ministry reportedly initiated the project with funding from component 11 of the Second Health Sector Development Project of the World Bank, to design and test the HRIS with a Master Patient Index ( MPI) and e-Indoor Morbidity and Mortality Report to estimate the actual disease burden in selected hospitals.

Over 100 medical drug prices to drop this year

Steps will be taken to bring down medicine prices this year, Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr Rajitha Seneratne was quoted as saying last week at a function held to celebrate the new year at his Ministry, at which Health Services Director General Jaliya Jayasinghe and other health officials were present.

He said his Ministry was able to reduce the price of 73 types of medicinal drugs last year and he would take steps to make this number reach a hundred this year.

The Minister reportedly said, he intended to curtail hospital charges of the private sector and was looking into the possibility of introducing a charging chart for private hospitals to follow. Commending the services rendered by officials operating in all medical sectors, he invited them to do a better job for the sake of the country and its people. “ Öur biggest challenge is the prevention of the spreading of illnesses, as well as to protect and promote good health practices”, he is reported to have said, and added that Sri Lanka’s health services had gained international recognition and all those in the service should keep the flag flying.

New standard for plugs, extension cords, sockets, in full force from Jan 1

The new standard for plugs, extension cords and sockets have been fully implemented from January 1 , 2019, the Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka ( PUCSL) has reportedly said warning distributors that only plugs, extension cords and sockets conforming to the new regulations should be purchased hereafter. In addition, the sale, stocking or display of 5A and 15A plugs, sockets and extension cords have also been banned from January 1 this year.

The PUCSL introduced a new national standard for plugs and sockets in 2016, when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the National Policies and Economic Affairs Minister reportedly proposed this single standard which received Cabinet approval on August 16, 2016. However, according to informed sources it was not fully implemented due to various problems.

The new standard for Sri Lanka has been implemented to ensure the safety of electricity consumers in the country. However, there is no need to remove or replace any of the plugs or sockets currently being used in homes and buildings, the PUCSL has reportedly said, adding that they could be used until it is time to change them as this new regulation is only effective for new purchases.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Authority ( CAA) has reportedly been instructed to take action against traders selling plugs and sockets that do not conform to the new regulations . The standard will apply to electrical appliances as well.

President calls for quick solution to Gohagoda waste dump

President Maithripala Sirisena has reportedly instructed relevant authorities to provide immediate solutions to get rid of the garbage mountain at Gohagoda in Katugastota which is currently posing a health hazard to those living in its vicinity. He is quoted as saying that this was the main environmental issue in the Kandy city and that immediate steps should be taken to avoid another tragic incident such as at Meethotamulla.

He is reported to have given instructions to officials at a meeting at the President’s Office last week on streamlining the activities of the Gohagoda Solid Waste Management Centre.

The President instructed that waste be methodically cleaned through a proper recycling process without inconveniencing the public . He said Provincial Councils should take steps in collaborating with the Urban Councils and instructed the Central Environment Authority to provide assistance in this regard.

Dengue cases hit over 50,000 last year

A total of 50,163 dengue cases and 56 dengue deaths were reported country wide up to December 31 last year, the Epidemiology Unit sources have reportedly said.

According to the sources the highest number of dengue cases , 10,051 had been reported in the Colombo district while the second highest number , 5,604 was reported in the Gampaha district . The third highest number of dengue cases (4,817 ) had been reported in the Batticaloa district. Meanwhile, medical officials have advised the public to seek medical treatment without delay for any type of fever instead of using home remedies.

Healing music

A Sri Lankan American, Arlene De Silva who founded a non profit NGO – Global Music & Wellness has brought new hope to especially, older citizens suffering from stress related illnesses with her innovative programs for stress management with music therapy.

She has reportedly said that working with other experts in the field her programs designed by a neurologist using drums and digital pianos, have been found to have healing impacts on those with mild to severe stress related illnesses. She reportedly said that the neurologist has basically written a ten step protocol.

By engaging in that for an hour for six weeks, she is quoted as saying that there was a host of benefits for those using the therapy. As she has pointed out, music therapy was recreational music which was all about relieving stress as it focuses on one’s well being.

Stress is a serious health problem. Society is changing fast and so are families. When parents find employment in the Middle East children are left behind. That too has contributed to stress. Ninety percent of our sicknesses are due to stress.

That is why we firmly believe in these programs which have shown evidence of positive impacts in reducing stress in the target populations as it boosts their self esteem, she reportedly said at a recent interview with our sister paper, the Daily News.

At present the group has expanded in the US to multiple states, and they have a music and wellness coalition which has 94 organisations including hospitals and universities. She reportedly said that she comes to Sri Lanka every year and has worked with Help Age in Sri Lanka since the Tsunami and her goal was to promote a culture of wellness which was evidence based.