Barriers to progress, health care reform and export of skilled labour (2023)

Research on Equity and Action Plan for Economic and Social Development in Sri Lanka Part 3: Barriers to Progress, Health Care Reform and Labor Exports
Published on May 24, 2023

Professor Sunil J. Wimalawans

The reasons for economic development and the need for a new constitution

Sri Lanka's economy has been stagnant since independence from Britain. This is due to the lack of selfish politicians: the country's vision, long-term policies and long-term plans for national development (such as clean water). The failure to address social and economic problems and plan and implement future needs through education, agriculture, land reform, infrastructure development and the justice system has been a disaster for the county.

The tendency to focus only on short-term policies/programs that benefit politicians at the expense of taxpayers is worrying. This, combined with rotten amendments to supplement the flawed 1977 constitution, opened the door to widespread corruption at all levels of government. No wonder the country is not developing. To be successful, each of these factors must be dealt with fairly, not least by abolishing the executive rather than the constitution, without loopholes, and by ensuring full independence of the judiciary from the executive power.

In addition, outdated legislation must be replaced in order to improve social conditions and prevent further harm to HELLA's values ​​and culture. Politicians are eager to develop the tobacco and alcohol industries and give alcohol discounts to their friends as a New Year's gift. Not only will they fill the pockets of politicians, they will also increase sales/profits for hospitals and funeral homes. Such rowdy behavior by ministers has greatly increased criminal activity and ill health, and lowered the country's cultural, social and economic status. Instead of expanding licenses, he should limit liquor imports, introduce a bill to stop new liquor licenses and revoke 500 licenses per month. This will gradually bring legal and controlled facilities back to 1970 levels.

Negative impact of bad decisions and rising healthcare costs

As mentioned above, Sri Lanka's new vision and sound decision-making and project implementation will bring significant economic and social benefits. In addition, it appears that the positive effects of these measures will have a huge impact on family and national well-being, reduce healthcare costs, improve policing and reduce pressure on prisons. The government must have the courage to enforce them - and if not, there must be a general election and someone else will do it. It must implement what is best for the majority of its constituents, despite the opposition of conflicting officials, individuals and groups - influential stakeholders. Loss of revenue from the loss of liquor licenses and tobacco promotion/advertising would be offset by health care savings, reduced absenteeism and efficiency gains, and improved public order.

Barriers to progress, health care reform and export of skilled labour (1)Another important area is the significant adverse impact on the health of the population due to the proliferation of the fast food (junk food) industry. The negative impact of this mainly affects children from the upper middle class. The government's downright stupid decision to mandate the replication of Sri Lanka's failing disastrous junk food system is a sad story. A few years ago, the author warned directly to government authorities and through local television discussions about the imminent harmful consequences of authorizing multinational corporations to sell unhealthy fast food in Sri Lanka (and other developing countries). These unhealthy foods contain empty calories (high in fructose and pork fat/lard) without any nutritional value and have a major impact on childhood obesity and diabetes.

These harmful fast food ingredients include high fructose corn syrup, cheap oils that are commonly used, lard (saturated fat), and cooking oils that contain trans fats (very unhealthy). This not only increases the risk of cancer, but also obesity, diabetes, weakened immunity and poor academic performance. Based on the evidence, the authors predict that these harmful effects will double every five years. A naive young generation deviating from the traditional healthy and balanced Sri Lankan diet taught by their parents will become a health nightmare for the country. Children are abducted (i.e., brainwashed) by fake TV and advertising billboards. Parents deliberately or unintentionally lead their children to this disaster: on the one hand, they want to flaunt their status to their peers, and on the other hand, they want to satisfy their childish demands.

Unfortunately, the government and media support this, generating revenue for themselves, but they are precipitating the looming disaster for short-term financial gain. This is against kickbacks and bribes under the guise of taxes. Politicians are preoccupied with these short-term gains while endangering the health of our children and grandchildren - and this isn't the first time a government has failed to put the country first.

Now is the time to reflect on the long-term negative consequences for public health, especially childhood obesity, diabetes and related mental and physical disorders, rising health care costs, lost productivity and significant increases in morbidity and mortality and premature mortality . The fast food industry's license has been approved and the government has imposed damages on our children. This is a dangerous and short-sighted way of generating revenue and bribes - a practice that is detrimental to the health of our children. These harmful measures should not be blindly copied and implemented, which will increase health care costs, and the costs are more than ten times the expected tax revenue. The harmful effects of this bad policy will be felt in our society within five years.

While this is profitable in the short term, it is not too late for the government to reverse this thoughtless, harmful and dangerous miscalculation. The government should consider replacing fast food promotion with a campaign that educates the public about local, nutritious food and promotes home gardening, as the author's family foundation (Wimalawansa Foundation) and others have been doing for some time. Acting right will prevent billions of rupees from being wasted for years to come. The focus should be on preventive healthcare, not building hospitals to expand and fund emergency healthcare.

Instead of exporting cheap labour, the country should export highly skilled jobs

The country should not be dependent on loans from the World Bank, the IMF or any other lender. In contrast, the export of only tea, rubber, coconuts, precious stones and skilled labor expanded. It needs to develop tourism and diversify the exports of large and small companies, especially manufacturing companies and new companies, to earn more foreign exchange. Similarly, instead of relying on transferring jobs from the Middle East, a country should rely on fossil fuels for energy. There is a lot of uncertainty in both areas - sudden changes can hit the economy hard. Unemployment is rising because entrepreneurs are stagnating and new jobs are scarce. So many professionals and skilled workers transfer their knowledge to other countries - Sri Lanka is losing talent.

The government provides little or no assistance or guidance and disregards the well-being and safety of those traveling to and already serving in Middle Eastern countries. Instead, he boasted about the millions he had received. Unfortunately, it does not take into account the significant negative impact of such labor exports. These include, but are not limited to, abuse of men and women, mutilation, death, especially of women, and the severe destruction of the families they leave behind. No government organization, including foreign embassies, has closely monitored this vulnerable group and taken concrete measures to prevent destructive practices (e.g. doing nothing to protect this workforce, but despite the persecution of these families, the government still benefits from the benefits of money transfers.

Many who travel to the Middle East to work in these low paying jobs are harassed and abused (physically, sexually and psychologically) and are not given enough food or paid wages before returning home. Despite thousands of complaints, successive governments have failed to address these grave violations and crimes against humanity. Many had to spend their money out of poverty to return home alive, despite not paying the agreed upon slavery payments. Despite these setbacks, agents and middlemen continue to maximize these poor people without protecting them. What justice!

People who travel to Middle Eastern countries under such harsh conditions risk their lives and destroy their families back home. As mentioned above, the Government of Sri Lanka should create skills training opportunities and enable the industry to create suitable jobs in Sri Lanka to provide them with employment at reasonable wages. This will eventually negate your desire to go to the Middle East. Governments have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to take important steps to implement the measures described above, to monitor these unfortunate events and to rectify this huge problem plaguing our society.

export better paying jobs-np.,UnitedHealth to the West

New ways of thinking are needed to break the vicious circle of slave mentality and dependency. For example, instead of exporting low-wage unskilled labor (i.e. domestic help and construction work) and semi-skilled labor to the Middle East as described above, Sri Lanka should instead set up centers for training highly skilled workers across the country. Well-trained nurses are an example of high demand in Western countries.

Create a concrete plan to train thousands of highly skilled nurses each year with critical care and emergency care (ER) experience so they can be deployed in these counties and earn guaranteed wages 10 times higher than elsewhere in the country. the Midlands. These well paying jobs also bring a lot of respect and security. For example, in the United States alone, there is currently a shortage of 130,000 trained nurses per year, and the need continues to grow. This high-profile nursing skills training can be completed in a structured, standardized training program lasting two to four years. The concept is no different from exporting value-added goods.

In contrast, the current export of high-risk, low-paid unskilled labor to the Middle East only benefits middlemen and governments, not their families. The positive actions described above will provide the opportunity to move from current misery to success, minimize social disruption, improve security and overcome poverty, and significantly improve income opportunities (i.e. guaranteed wage increases of more than 10 times). It would also facilitate foreign exchange inflows, reduce the deficit and allow debt service without the need for additional credit.

Why is Sri Lanka not developing as expected?

Apart from cheap labour, good weather and a reasonable proportion of the population speaking English or other foreign languages, the Sri Lankan government has offered nothing unique to attract foreign FDIC companies to invest in Sri Lanka. Yet there are many more riches and resources in Sri Lanka that have yet to be realized and brought to market. As a result, investors only hear about rampant bureaucracy and high-level corruption, lack of proper infrastructure, bureaucratic delays, etc., dampening the enthusiasm of potential investors. Sri Lanka's approach is backward and needs to change its passive attitude and be proactive in sending messages and offers to attract the FDIC. Ultimately, this will lead to better jobs and higher taxes.

Realizing long-term benefits doesn't come easy (there's no free lunch). Temporary solutions will not lead to a better future for Sri Lanka. The country must carefully plan and implement smart measures and sustainable revenue-generating programs, guided by its missions abroad. A recent example is the chronic delay and inefficiency (and theft) in carrying out tsunami recovery in Sri Lanka, with a lack of accountability for the resources provided. Those who visit a devastated area (even now, 16 months later) realize that small NGOs, charities and individuals do contribute to recovery, housing, employment and the recovery process. Yet governments and large NGOs pride themselves on promoting themselves, but do little to help those in need (NeeOA,TonalkyneEuropasuch as NATO).

Tsunami financing status

Much of the funding for tsunami relief went to governments or international organizations (I-NGOs) such as the Red Cross. Neither group did much work and the rest of the money did not reach its intended destination. In addition, some economically advanced (major) donor countries, such as the United States, had pledged financial support to help victims of the tsunami, but never fulfilled this promise. It is estimated that even after 16 months, about 20% of the recovery required by the tsunami has been achieved. Individual donors and small local charities contributed more than two-thirds of this amount. Meanwhile, the government has received more than $100 million in donations — it's unclear where that fund went.

In addition, several recent scandals and investigations have exposed massive corruption at the highest levels of government, both in government organizations and large NGOs. Unfortunately, they failed to implement a feasible and cost-effective plan for rebuilding the country after the tsunami. This paradoxical and ill-advised decision has drastically reduced the country's ability to build an entirely new set of urban models, for example energy-efficient, clean cities. PA de Silva and we proposed immediately after the tsunami. We provided the government with concrete ideas and drawings with cost estimates: nothing came of it. Although a committee is formed, egocentric thinking, inexperienced committee members, political bickering and the no-brainer awarding of building contracts to buddies means that this has little effect.

We estimate that if the post-tsunami reconstruction funds had been used (assuming they were spent correctly), the entire tsunami-affected south and east coasts would have been rebuilt into energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, well-planned, government-free cities. funds. However, government organizations do not consider any of these ready-made, highly profitable, innovative alternative development programs - because there are no commissions, they bury them.

Instead, the current government has chosen to do nothing. It relies on individuals and charities to rebuild homes and villages in exact locations, with no future plans to expand, upgrade, or embed safety concerns. In contrast, our proposed approach of well-planned peri-urban development would provide integrated housing structures and meet all the needs (including energy) of these self-sustaining micro-cities, providing long-term self-sufficient employment and improving livelihoods and the economy. So why didn't this happen and what happened to the Tsunami Fund?

What economy are we talking about?

Sri Lanka needs to develop more innovative ways to improve its economy. The hard truth is that many big lenders are not interested in national development, but instead focus on their own returns. Their motives for lending money to Sri Lanka and other developing countries go against what is expected of them - there is no compassion or charity in the lending. The condition of the IMF is that they push through their master's globalization and marketing agenda and make sure they get their money back.

Ironically, due to the high rate of theft and high administrative costs, only a small percentage of loan or donation funds make it to designated projects or to their intended beneficiaries. Sometimes donor countries receive more than a third of the endowment funds or grants to cover the cost of expert consultations. Another third is wasted on commissions, luxury travel and hotel expenses for them and their paid advisors. The same goes for most international non-governmental organizations (I-NGOs) that are supposed to help developing countries - many of which are scams designed to enrich themselves through donations.

Sri Lanka is no exception: these NGOs are estimated to spend less than 20% of donated funds and 40% of their funds for their intended purposes. The rest goes to their expenses, administrative and general expenses (including business class airfare and hotel bills for their officers, purchases of expensive fuel-intensive vehicles and other luxuries, air-conditioned travel, etc.)detailedas "Other costs". In some cases, funds raised by the public were used for unrelated and unsanctioned activities, such as immoral religious conversions. An example is the widespread and ongoing efforts of some NGOs to enforce religious conversions.

The fourth part deals with credit traps, credit insolvency and the possibility of future bankruptcy in Sri Lanka.

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