The Health Ministry will implement a new policy from next months which makes it compulsory for alcohol and cigarette users for foot the bill for government medical services they receive.
The Ministry said if the Doctor diagnoses the cause for the disease is the use of alcohol or smoking, the patient will then have to pay the bill for the medical services. The Ministry asserted that this decision had been taken to discourage the consumption of alcohol and smoking. The main reason for non-communal diseases was the consumption of alcohol. A Health Ministry official said that in Sri Lanka about 350 people die each day due to non communicable diseases. 80% of those who suffer from such diseases are between the ages 40 and 50. Of this, 80% of them are males. This age group is essential for the growth and prosperity of a family. He said they have to put a halt to this trend because when people suffer and die from these types of diseases their children do not get parental support or proper upbringing and the economy is burdened.