Growing demand for hospital beds: Local manufacturing to meet the demand

By Uwin Lugoda

The State Engineering Corporation (SEC) recently manufactured 500 hospital beds with the aim of meeting growing demand, The Sunday Morning learnt.

The Urban Development Authority (UDA) had designed the hospital beds, each costing around Rs. 23,000, and handed them over to the relevant hospitals and medical centres.

According to UDA Media Spokesperson Prasad Manju, the supply of hospital beds was carried out following the instructions of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing.

“We designed these beds and called for both the State Engineering Corporation and the Department of Government Factory to construct them. Each of the organisations constructed 250 hospital beds in order to provide quick treatment to all Covid-19 patients in these hospitals,” said Manju, speaking to The Sunday Morning.

Initially, the Department of Government Factory completed the construction of 100 hospital beds, while the SEC completed the construction of 60 hospital beds. The construction of these beds was carried out at the Government Factory premises and SEC premises, which are located in Ja-Ela, Ekala and Ratmalana.

Within the next few weeks, an additional 340 beds were constructed and distributed amongst hospitals and medical centres.

Manju stated that out of the 100 beds made by the Department of Government Factory, 50 beds were donated to the Mulleriyawa Government Hospital and the remaining 50 beds were donated to the Nawagamuwa Government Hospital.

Following this, State Minister of Sports Development Indika Anuruddha handed over 60 beds made by the SEC to the Ministry of Rural Housing and Construction and Building Industry Promotion. Moreover, another 50 beds were donated to the Kosgama Government Hospital and 10 beds to the Wethara Government Hospital in Polgasowita.

According to Manju, it cost both organisations an estimated Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 23,000 to construct one hospital bed. Therefore, he explained that the construction of all 500 hospital beds would cost between Rs. 10 million and Rs. 11.5 million.

Moreover, pipes required for the completion of these beds were provided to the Department of Government Factory by the Building Material Corporation (BMC).

The two government agencies ensured that these beds were manufactured in accordance with the criteria and standards provided by the Ministry of Health.

The Government has also made plans to keep both the SEC and the Department Government Factory on alert, in order to construct more beds when the need arises.