Ministry of Social Services grants concessions
Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, who is also the Chairman of National Council for Persons with Disabilities, granted concessions to persons with disabilities at a meeting held at his office on the 29th of May 2007. Invitees to the meeting included officials from the Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition, Department of Railways, Department of Posts and Telecommunication, and Sri Lanka Transport Board.
Hon. Minister speaking to the Health Ministry representatives instructed them to provide with accessibility facilities to all the hospitals as well as Osusala outlets to persons with disabilities, especially to those using wheel chairs. He also instructed them to use brail imprinted tokens and video display units at all the Osusala outlets in all the three languages for the convenience of the visually and hearing impaired and to grant 5% discount on all pharmaceutical purchases to the disabled irrespective of age, as is in practise at present to the senior citizens above 55 years of age.
Hon. Minister stated that he would make it a point to speak to Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Health Care and Nutrition further, for exploring the possibility of granting more relief to the disabled. It was also decided to request the unions of the medical officers to indicate in issuing prescriptions that the patient so receiving treatment is a person with disability.
Speaking to the participants from the Department of Railways, Minister instructed them to provide with accessibility facilities to the platforms and make available a separate compartment to the trains playing for the disabled with every facility possible to make them at home.
The Minster also instructed them to employ at every Railway Station personnel on contract basis affiliated to the department to assist the disabled in boarding in and out of the trains.