Sri Lanka’s health sector sees a slump due to shortage of essential medicines, according to South Asia News

Reeling from the economic crisis, the health sector in Sri Lanka is also under pressure as it experiences a major drop due to a sudden increase in the prices of essential medicines which have increased by up to 29% after being prescribed. by the government.

Doctors and medical staff at the country’s first health institute took to the streets on Wednesday to protect themselves against government policies.

Speaking to ANI, Dr. Chamal Sanjeewa, President of the Association of Medical and Civil Rights Professional Physicians said, “There is a shortage of drugs and essential drugs in hospitals. There is no fuel for medics to get to work, they have to wait in long lines at gas stations.”

Read also | India, our big brother, grateful to Prime Minister Modi: Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya in the midst of economic crisis

He added that there is a shortage of most anesthetic drugs used in surgery. “High blood pressure and vital medicines are also missing. Pharmacists have no medicines. And antibiotics are missing. In the next few days we are going to face a big problem, we are not protesting for the salary, we are protesting for life,” he said.

Another doctor, Hiran Karasingha, told ANI that unfortunately the situation is getting worse in the country. “Poor people come to public hospitals, but there are no medical supplies,” he said.

Supporting the doctors’ claims, Shalintha Rodrigoa, a pharmacist working at Colombo’s biggest pharmaceutical store known as Union Pharmacy, told the ANI team that many drugs come from India, however. , there is a shortage of these drugs imported from India too.

He further said that they have raised drug prices by 29% as stated by the government, but many life-saving drugs including cancer drugs are also missing from the stores.

Rodrigoa added that there was a shortage of even common drugs like paracetamol and panadol in medical stores.

Watch | Sri Lankan lawmaker issues stark warning that food, gas and power shortages will worsen

Notably, Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented shortage of medicine supplies as people have taken to the streets against the government to protest the ongoing economic crisis.

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

The island nation’s economy which has been in freefall since the start of the Covid pandemic is now in the grip of a spiraling crisis, with shortages of medicine and food and long power cuts.

Read also | Sri Lanka appoints advisory committee of economic and tax experts to tackle debt crisis

Separately, a health emergency has been declared in Sri Lanka from Tuesday due to the severe shortage of medicines in the country.

The move was announced after a meeting of the general emergency committee of the country’s Government Physicians Association (GMOA) to discuss the imposition of the emergency law and the severe shortage of medicines, the report reported. DailyMirror.