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Hospital renovations improve health care in Northern Sri Lanka

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Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Dutch company VAMED has started construction and is expanding 4 district hospitals in Sri Lanka with extra wards and equipment. Together, they serve a population of over 1.25 million people. By the end of the project, the hospitals will be able to treat around 68,000 extra patients between them.

Solving health problems

The project has many goals. One is to bring facilities in the underserved Northern province up to the same level as those in the rest of Sri Lanka. This project also focuses on region-specific problems that are a result of the civil war. For example, many people have been left with physical disabilities or mental health issues. Also, many women, elderly and young people are economically disadvantaged.

New facilities

Each of the hospitals will get additional or renovated facilities for, among others, the wards:

  • Emergency
  • Radiology
  • Laboratory
  • Nephrology (kidney disease)
  • Centre of Excellence for Women's Health and Paediatrics
  • Cardiology.

The project will deliver physical infrastructure and equipment as well as technical assistance. This will boost the quality and professionalism of health care in the region. The project assists in:

  • training medical personnel to treat psychiatric illnesses;
  • skills needed for the maintenance of medical equipment;
  • medical waste processing;
  • long-term planning for regional health care.

Civil war

25 years of civil war delayed the much-needed investments in health care. This is why the renovation of the hospitals was not possible before. When the conflict ended in 2009, efforts started to bring the situation up to the Sri Lankan national level. This project will drastically improve the quality and efficiency of health care for local people. It will particularly help women, children and patients suffering from heart conditions, kidney diseases or psychiatric illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder.


VAMED is renovating these hospitals with financial support from the DRIVE programme. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency carries out DRIVE on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Development Related Infrastructure Investment Vehicle (DRIVE) is contributing over €15 million to the project. The construction project started in July 2020. It will cost €60 million and will be completed in 2022.

Would you like to know more?

Do you want to know how DRIVE can help your infrastructure project in a developing country? Please visit the DRIVE information page.

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