Lanka’s Healthcare Witnesses Major Shortage Of Essential Meds

Reeling from the economic crisis, the healthcare sector of Sri Lanka is also under stress as it is witnessing a major downfall due to a sudden rise in the prices of essential medicines that have been hiked upto 29 per cent after being prescribed by the government.

The doctors and the healthcare staff from the country’s premier healthcare institute on Wednesday came out on the street to protect against the government’s policies.
Speaking to ANI, Dr Chamal Sanjeewa, President, Medical and Civil Rights professional Association of Doctors, said, “There is a shortage of drugs and essential drugs in the hospitals. There is no fuel for the doctors to travel to the workplace, they have to stand in long queues at fuel refilling stations.”

He added that there is a shortage of most of the anaesthetic drugs used in the surgery. “Hypertension and life-saving medicines are also short. The pharmacists don’t have drugs. And antibiotics drugs are missing. In the coming days, we will face a big problem, we are not protesting for salary, we are protesting for life,” he said.

Another doctor Hiran Karasingha told ANI that unfortunately, the situation is getting worse in the country. “The poor people are coming to the government hospitals, however, no medical supplies are available,” he said.

Supporting the claims of the doctors, Shalintha Rodrigoa, a pharmacist working in the biggest pharma store in Colombo known as “Union Pharmacy” told the ANI team that many of the drugs come from India, however, there is a shortage of these drugs imported from India as well.

He further said that they have increased the prices of the medicines by 29 per cent as said by the government, however, many life-saving drugs including cancer medicines are also missing from the stores.

Rodrigoa added that there is a dearth of even common drugs like paracetamol and panadol in the medical stores.

Notably, Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented medicines supply shortage while people have hit the street against the government to protest the ongoing economic crisis.

The island nation is presently facing a foreign exchange shortage which has led to a food, fuel, power and gas shortage and has sought the assistance of friendly countries for economic assistance. Sri Lanka’s currency has been also devalued by almost SLR 90 against the US dollar since March 8.

The economy of the island country that has been in a free-fall since the onset of the COVID pandemic is now in the throes of a spiralling crisis, with shortages of medicines and food and long power cuts.

Further, an emergency health situation has been declared in Sri Lanka from Tuesday because of the severe drug shortage in the country.

This decision was announced after an emergency general committee meeting of the country’s Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) to discuss the imposition of the emergency law and the severe drug shortage, the Daily Mirror reported. (ANI)

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