Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday assured that there is no uncontrollable shortage of drugs in the country and the health sector is still in a strong position to deal with any challenges ahead. Refuting the allegations by various groups who claim that there is an acute shortage of drugs in Sri Lanka, Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday stated that there is no such shortage beyond the control of the administration.
The Minister was speaking at a media briefing held at the Government Information Department yesterday (21) under the theme ‘Plans to Continue Health Services in the Face of Economic Crisis’.
The Minister said that 14 types of drugs have been specially identified as Life-Saving Drugs (LSDs),that save someone’s life and currently their is no shortage of these drugs.There was a shortage of only the anti-rabies vaccines and now we have been able to manage that also.
He said that the country will receive a consignment of 25,000 of anti-rabies vaccines from China today and another consignment of 100,000 vaccines scheduled to be delivered by the first week of July.
“There is a shortage of nearly 50 drugs out of 664 essential drugs and we have alternatives for these drugs. So all the hospitals in the country is in a position to treat any type of disease and people need not to be panic over any shortage of drugs. The Minister appreciated the service rendered by many stakeholders in the field of health, including specialist doctors, and said that he would also seek their advice in ordering medicines at this time. Pointing out that the process of importing medicines in the health sector is being carried out on a scientific basis, the Minister said that he was not ready to play with the lives of the people.
He added that many friends around the world have now enthusiastically agreed to provide large-scale assistance with the objective of ensuring that Sri Lanka’s health sector does not collapse.”
We spend about US$ 260 million a year importing medicine and other necessities, and so far we have received 439 million dollars from various sectors, and yesterday the Australian government agreed to provide another 50 million US dollars in aid for health and essential food,” he said.