Lanka's doctors seek medicines urgently to tackle drug shortage

| | Colombo
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Lanka's doctors seek medicines urgently to tackle drug shortage

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 | PTI | Colombo

Sri Lanka's government doctors association on Tuesday launched an urgent appeal seeking medicines to supplement hospitals in the island nation amidst its worst economic crisis that has left the country with a drug shortage.

Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA), which is the doctor's trade union, have opened up a portal seeking donations of medicines and consumables as part of their initiative to bring at least a temporary relief to the medicine shortage in such a time.

"Due to poor financial and economic management, the Sri Lankan healthcare sector is on the verge of a severe crisis in saving the lives of patients caused by severe drug and equipment shortages.

We need your generous support at this crucial time to continue the patient care services in Sri Lanka," a statement issued by GMOA said. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from the UK in 1948.

People have been protesting for weeks over lengthy power cuts and shortage of fuel, food and other daily essentials. They are demanding the resignation of the president.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has defended his government's actions, saying the foreign exchange crisis was not his making and the economic downturn was largely pandemic driven by the island nation's tourism revenue and inward remittances waning.

While the GMOA is raising clamour seeking support over the medicine shortage, the Sri Lankan government's information department refuted claims that drugs and medicines are in short supply.

A statement said reports of a shortage of essential medicines and consumables at several state hospitals in Sri Lanka are not true.

The department attached an inventory of essential medicines and consumables that are currently in stock at state hospitals, especially in the Western Province.

During the visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Colombo last month, it was brought to his attention a reported closure of surgeries at the hospital in the central town of Peradeniya.

Sri Lanka has been hit with shortages of essentials and long hours of power cuts due to the economic crisis. (AP) Unable to pay its external debts, the island nation announced a temporary suspension of debt servicing on Tuesday until the bailout package with the IMF could work out.

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