Doc990, Sri Lanka’s pioneering digital health solutions service provider, extended its channelling platform free of charge to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH). The launch of 1390 toll-free, trilingual channelling hotline (from any mobile network) at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) was part of its continued efforts in uplifting use of technology in the healthcare sector. This will be an integral step forward in the digitisation journey of LRH, allowing patients to reap the benefits of a remote doctor channelling service.
LRH annually serves over 445,000 patients in over 40 clinics. As a value addition to the hospital’s processes, the Doc990 channelling system enables staff to manage doctor-patient appointments, making for a convenient doctor channelling experience for both patients and the hospital’s staff. This initiative is also backed by John Keells Office Automation (Pvt) Ltd. (JKOA) which donated 16 Samsung mobile phones to LRH.
With this channelling platform, patients from across the country can now dial its toll-free, trilingual hotline 1390 to place direct appointments with specialist doctors at any LRH clinic. Once an appointment has been scheduled, the patient will receive a SMS from Doc990 detailing the name of the clinic to visit, date and time along with the appointment number. Adding further value, patients will also receive reminders of appointments as well as notifications of any changes to their appointments via SMS.
Facilitating over 2 million appointments a year, Doc990 is currently available at over 140 private hospitals across Sri Lanka enabling patients to make appointments conveniently from home, by simply dialling 990 from any network, visiting www.doc.lk or by logging in to the Doc990 mobile app available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Central Bank to Deal with the ‘Elephant in the Room’
Seeks opportunity to apprise parliament of substantial salary hikes to CBSL staff
By Sanath Nanayakkare
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka embroiled in a controversy pertaining to about 70% salary hike for CBSL employees despite the ongoing economic crisis, has expressed its willingness to be answerable to an appropriate parliamentary committee in this regard.
Issuing a press release, the Bank stated that it seeks an opportunity to apprise the Members of the Parliament in this context.Reproduced below is the press release issued by the Central Bank yesterday.
Clarification by CBSL on Salary Hike
“Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has taken note of recent news reports in the media on comments and remarks attributed to some Members of Parliament at recent proceedings of the House with regard to the latest revision of remuneration of employees of the CBSL that were approved by the Governing Board under the triennial Collective Agreement entered into with the Trade Unions covering the period2024- 2026.”
“In this regard, the Governing Board at its meeting held on 21.02.2024, requested the Governor of CBSL, acting in terms of the Section 80 (2) (b) of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Act No. 16 of 2023, to make a written request to the President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, through whom the CBSL normally communicates with Parliament, to seek an opportunity to apprise the Members of the Parliament through an appropriate parliamentary committee of the process and rationale pertaining to the recent revision of remuneration of CBSL staff.”
“The Governor has accordingly made a written request on 22.02.2024.”
“CBSL will explain its position upon being offered the requested opportunity or on receipt of a request for information,” CBSL said.
On Feb. 19, The Island published its lead story titled, “Over 70% salary hike for CBSL employees: Gevindu demands explanation from Finance Minister.”
“Dissident SLPP lawmaker Gevindu Cumaratunga said on Feb. 18 that the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government owed an explanation as to how the Governing Board of the Central Bank had approved a massive salary increase to CBSL employees at a time the country was experiencing a deep socio-economic crisis,” the news story said in its beginning.
Govt getting bullish about prospects for Hambantota International Port
Focuses on its connectivity to Myanmar, East China and Africa
In a recent discussion convened at the Presidential Secretariat, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has articulated his vision for economic development and infrastructure investment, particularly focusing on the master plans for strategic tourism zones in the Eastern Province, the Colombo City and the Western Region and Greater Hambantota, according to the President’s Media Division.
The President has emphasized the economic potential of Hambantota, envisioning it as a pivotal hub for infrastructure development and connectivity. He has highlighted plans to link Hambantota to the Myanmar port, with further extensions anticipated up to Chongqing in eastern China and down to Africa.
President Wickremesinghe has also stressed the importance of leveraging the extensive investments already made in infrastructure in Hambantota, despite previous challenges.
“We have spent a significant amount on infrastructure here, and despite facing crises, it is imperative to capitalize on these investments,” President Wickremesinghe has said.
He has disclosed plans for allocating thousands of acres of land for investment zones, with additional acquisitions sought in the Moneragala area.
Moreover, the President advocated for strategic expansion into new areas, including Avissawella and Eheliyagoda, to alleviate urban congestion and foster new city centres. Plans for a North Colombo port expansion and potential industrial and IT parks were also discussed, aiming to attract investments and spur economic growth.
“We must concentrate our efforts and funds on key infrastructure, particularly in Hambantota and Colombo,” President Wickremesinghe stated.
He expressed confidence in attracting investors for heritage cities like Colombo once land availability is ensured. However, he acknowledged the need for continued investment in Hambantota to propel its development, highlighting it as the next significant hub after Colombo.
The development of Trincomalee as a major investment zone, in collaboration with India, emerged as a priority during the discussion. President Wickremesinghe announced plans for a joint working group to implement development initiatives in Trincomalee, emphasizing the importance of bilateral cooperation in driving economic growth and regional stability.
President Wickremesinghe’s remarks underscored a strategic shift towards targeted infrastructure development, emphasizing the pivotal roles of Hambantota and the Eastern Province in economic growth and positioning it as a key player alongside Colombo in Sri Lanka’s development trajectory, the President’s Media said.
Colombo Fashion Week 2024 to shine spotlight on sustainability
Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) returns from March 6th to 9th 2024, for its 21st edition, marking a significant milestone and promising a future brimming with innovation for the fashion industry of Sri Lanka. This year the platform focuses on multiple locations around Colombo to make the city come alive, as it’s also an apt time for travelers to experience the creativity and cultural richness of Colombo.
Since 2003, CFW has played a pivotal role in reviving, guiding, and building pride in Sri Lanka’s fashion industry. From humble beginnings featuring a handful of designers, it has blossomed into a thriving ecosystem embracing sustainability and empowering young talent. More than 80% of today’s leading Sri Lankan designers are the product of CFW’s development system, a testament to its impact.
Under the leadership of Managing Director Ajai Vir Singh, CFW has championed sustainability, introducing initiatives such as Ethical Fashion Day, the Responsible Fashion Summit, and the innovative tool, Responsible Meter. These efforts have positioned CFW as a leader in ethical fashion globally, attracting renowned designers from Europe, Australia, and South Asia, alongside esteemed Sri Lankan designers, fostering knowledge exchange, and showcasing the burgeoning talent of Sri Lankan designers alongside established industry names.
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