140 essential medicines out of stock in Sri Lanka’s state hospitals – GMOA

140 essential medicines out of stock in Sri Lanka’s state hospitals – GMOA

Written by Staff Writer

29 Jan, 2023 | 11:42 pm

Colombo (News1st) – "At least 140 types of essential medicines are completely out of stock in state hospitals," exclaimed Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe, the Media Spokesperson for Government Medical Officers Association.

Access to medicines and medical supplies have dropped significantly in Sri Lanka while the island nation continues to struggle under the weight of its worst economic crisis in recent history.

Medical professionals point out that the medicine shortage has now turned into a crisis. Medical associations explain that the shortage of medicines, medical equipment, and delays in testing have exposed patients in hospitals to many risks.  

Painkillers, drugs used to prevent excessive blood loss after child birth, medicines given for Hematology, insulin, and anaesthetic drugs were among the drugs listed as unavailable by Dr. Ubhaya Bandara Warakagoda, the Southern Province Coordinator for the Government Medical Officers Association. 

In a startling revelation Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe stated that even medicines prescribed for the general flu are unavailable at government hospitals. Among the drugs in short supply were Cetirizine, Paracetamol, basic drugs prescribed for breathing difficulties, simple antibiotics and painkillers, as listed by Dr. Wijesinghe.

"Medicines for cancer patients cannot be found anywhere. We are completely helpless," cried a man who visited the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in the Southern province.

"There are no medicines here. They give us prescriptions to buy medicines from pharmacies, but we don't have enough money," a woman who visited the Anuradhapura teaching hospital lamented.  

Private pharmacy operators also point out that medicines are in short supply. The All Ceylon Medicine Distributors Association alleges that the Government has failed to take steps to import essential medicines.

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