Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bye bye quarters

Said bye bye to quarters at the Polonnaruwa Hospital. Nice cozy place for us with very very basic facilities. I am sure that they are not sufficient to attract professional and keep them there. Not much of difference from 1995. If at all they were deteriorated and poor maintenance was quite apparent. We have lived in the Ragama Hospital quarters as well. More or less the same.

A few years ago, a UNDP report has commended country’s free education and free health service as a key enabler of the society. Today, apart from 30-year long ethnic war, country is facing severe problems such as unplanned urbanisation, brain drain from village to city (and later on to other countries), rural poverty etc etc. There were no plans for successive governments to harness the full potential of free education and free health care (both are equally being deteriorated at a phenomenal rate). There were no plans to attract professionals to live and work in the peripheral areas. For that the state has to provide decent places to live by way of housing schemes or quarters and schools with good English education. On the other hand, the state could provide those stay and work in the peripheries (beyond mandatory time durations) with extra incentives such as property loans, duty free vehicle permits, salary increments tied to number of years working and living there with their families etc. at a different basis. Currently they are given to everybody with no priority given to those who continue to work and live with their families in the peripheries.

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