The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has reiterated its call for the government to immediately take all necessary measures to alleviate the shortage of essential medicines and medical equipment.
Hospitals around the country are making pleas for assistance to donors, both domestic and overseas, to address priority healthcare needs, GMAO Media Spokesperson Dr Chamil Wijesinghe said.
“Over 150 essential drugs, as well as medical stocks ranging from therapeutic drugs, anesthetic drugs, antibiotics, implants and suture materials, to Paracetamol, are in dire straits of depletion,” he said.
Dr Wijesinghe said doctors have warned of grave consequences once the stocks are used up, and are relying on donations to meet current needs.
He explained that in order to cope with the short supply of drugs, healthcentres are using a recently initiated centralised system for supplies and coordination among themselves.
Likewise, hospitals are pausing non-urgent surgeries to keep up the stock of essential drugs, have confined the Complete Blood Count (CBC) facilities, and have fallen back to reusing or rationing out medical equipment to string out its use which is taking its toll on people’s lives, he said.
“Essential medicines are vital to the protection of people’s rights to health and life. Nevertheless, there are some administrative delays that affect speedy supply of the medicines. Healthcare in Sri Lanka is most likely on the verge of collapse if the inadequacy continues,” he pointed out.
Drugs used for cancer treatment are also in short supply doctors said.
“It is hard to appraise the impact of these shortages, but we can certainly say that it impacts the standard of medical care. We are holding it together to the best of our abilities,” GMOA Media Committee Member Dr Hansamal Weerasuriya added.
( Sunday Times)