Published on: January 4, 2024

Increased Medical Allowance and Expanded Coverage Announced by President’s Fund

  • President’s Fund Boosts Medical Allowance to 100% Starting this year.
  • Identifying and Extending Medical Aid to Previously Uncovered Diseases.
  • Enhanced Support: Medical Assistance for Under-21s for Eye Surgery in Private or Semi-Government Hospitals.
  • Generous Aid: Up to Rs. 01 Million for Young Children’s Liver Transplant Surgery at Ragama Hospital.
  • Financial Inclusion: Monthly Income Limit for Medical Aid Raised to Rs. 200,000.

As per President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s directives, measures have been initiated to enhance the medical allowances provided by the President’s Fund, increasing them from 50% to 100%, effective from January 01, 2024. Mr. Sarath Kumara, the Secretary of the President’s Fund, announced that in line with the President’s guidance, services offered to the public by the President’s Fund will be expanded from the year 2024.

To achieve this, previously uncovered medical conditions have been identified, and assistance has commenced for those diseases. Notably, starting this year, medical aid will cover eye surgeries for individuals under 21 years of age, performed in private or semi-public hospitals.

In an effort to minimize the influx of patients seeking medical assistance in the city, a streamlined registration system within the President’s Fund for hospitals across the island has been implemented from 2024.

Furthermore, the stipend for post-working hours heart surgeries at Karapitiya Hospital will be increased this year, with plans to extend this system to other hospitals. Additionally, starting this year, medical aid payments of up to Rs. 01 million will be provided for liver transplant surgeries for young children at the Ragama Hospital.

Recognizing a gap in coverage, medical aid will now be extended to cover cancer surgeries performed in private or semi-public hospitals. Moreover, both private or semi-public hospitals and government hospitals will offer medical aid for medical tests conducted externally before and after bone marrow transplant surgery, effective this year.

Starting this year, the President’s Fund raises the monthly income limit for medical aid from Rs.150,000 to 200,000 , aiding middle-class individuals. Secretary Mr. Sarath Kumara notes the Fund’s adherence to the President’s directives in providing prompt services in 2023.
In that year, over 8,000 pending medical aid applications were addressed, spending 1,342 million rupees. Additionally, 3458 applications received in 2023 were processed, with Rs. 844.7 million disbursed.

Further, as per the instructions of the President, the President’s Fund has implemented the program of providing scholarships for the students who have passed the G.E.C. O/L exam and who need to be given relief in order to continue their education.

In the meantime, students who have passed the General Certificate of Education A Level Examination with top marks in the last two years have been selected at the district level and national level to provide financial assistance to those students. Accordingly, Rs. 31.5 million financial assistance has been given to 90 selected students.

The President’s Fund also implemented a program to provide financial and material assistance through the divisional secretaries of the island to uplift family units that are suffering from poverty but can engage in self-employment. Also, programs to provide monthly financial and material support through regional secretariats were successfully implemented in 2023 to identify family units suffering from poverty but unable to engage in self-employment or other work. Financial contribution has been provided for maintaining religious harmony as well as for religious activities and other social activities.

Meanwhile, in order to avoid unnecessary delays in the payment of medical aid, the application form for reimbursement of medical aid was updated and the necessary arrangements are being made to make payments within three working days for a medical aid application that is duly completed and delivered to the Presidential Fund without defects.

In 2022, a scholarship program commenced for G.E.C. exam-passed students. From each of the education divisions across the island, students were selected. Monthly, within the first two days of work, funds are credited to their bank accounts, and SMS notifications are sent. Currently, these students have received 10 monthly instalments.

This year, another initiative began for high-achieving students facing financial challenges after passing the GCE (A/L). Fifty students from one education division and a total of 5000 students from 100 education divisions are granted 6000 rupees monthly for 24 months to support their General Certificate of Education studies.

The Fund extended support through regional secretaries, aiding impoverished family units and implementing successful monthly assistance programs in 2023. Financial contributions were made for religious harmony and social activities.

Efforts are underway to swiftly provide warranty certificates for hospitalized patients undergoing surgery or treatment. Upon admission, hospitals will deduct the agreed-upon fund amount from medical bills, streamlining the process. Secretary Mr. Sarath Kumara ensures that a single visit to the President’s Fund is sufficient for patients, minimizing unnecessary calls or inconveniences.

Furthermore, a ceremonial event took place at the office premises yesterday, blessing the President’s Fund staff for their new-year duties in 2024.

Venerable Kirinde Assaji from the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya, Colombo, led the Pancha Sheela group in a solemn ceremony attended by dignitaries such as Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr. Anura Dissanayake and others.

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