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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Sri Lanka: MCPA demands HRCSL act against Health Minister, officials

Image courtesy of MediaLk.com.

Medical and Civil Rights Professionals Association of Doctors (MCPA), demanded the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) move the law against Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Health Ministry Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta and several other top officials of the Health Ministry, for importing unregistered and substandard medicinal drugs which allegedly claimed the lives of some patients and rendered several others blind.

MCPA President, Chamal Sanjeewa and several other civil rights organisations, filing a complaint, yesterday (26), with the HRCSL urged it to take action against the Health Minister, the Health Ministry Secretary, the Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Additional Secretary to the Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).

The People’s Movement against Bribery and Corruption, the MCPA and legal activists filed a complaint against the vision impairment and death of patients due to substandard drugs. The complainants alleged that despite the repeated cautioning, the Health Ministry and the NMRA continued to conduct emergency purchasing of unregistered and substandard medicinal drugs.

It was reported that the Prednisolone used following surgery had caused a significant loss of vision in post surgical patients at the National Eye Hospital, Colombo, and the District General Hospital. According to reports it was also not possible to restore vision to the patients who had suffered its loss, the MCPA President lamented.

Also, several deaths have been reported at the Teaching Hospital Peradeniya and Sirimavo Bandaranaike Hospital due to inferior anaesthetic drugs, he alleged observing that there were strong possibilities of there being unreported incidents across the island as well.

Chairman of the People’s Movement against Bribery and Corruption Kamantha Roshan noted that this serious situation had occurred as officials were not afraid of bringing in substandard drugs because of the lack of law enforcement in the country.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne/CT


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