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News


GMOA, Health Ministry contradict each other on drugs issue

By Kushali Atukorale
The GMOA yesterday charged that lack of proper administration in the Health Ministry, had led to a shortage of essential and life saving drugs in hospitals around the country.
Spokesman for the GMOA, Dr Upul Gunasekara told The Nation, that life saving drugs such as Dobutamine and xcylocard, and essential drugs like Pethadine and Morphine were not available even at the Colombo National Hospital.

“The situation is such that the National Hospital is not only facing a drug shortage, but also borrowing surgical equipment from the Kandy General Hospital and Lady Ridgeway Hospital in Borella,” he added.

Dr. Gunasekara further noted that drugs like Pethadine and Morphine, are used as essential pain killers at the time of an accident or after an operation. Therefore, it is vital to provide an adequate supply of these drugs without risking the lives of the patients.
He urged the Health Ministry to take immediate steps to end this drug shortage especially due to the current war situation in the country.

“When there aren’t enough stocks of Pethedine and Morphine in Colombo, how are we supposed to treat injured Army personnel outside the city , since these drugs are obtained only from Colombo?. The Ministry officials should think about the fate of the soldiers who are in need of treatment,” Gunasekara asserted.

Gunasekara charged that even though the GMOA has informed the Health Ministry about this shortage, they were delaying to provide stocks by giving lame excuses and blaming the doctors.

“The current situation highlights the importance of having a National Drug Policy. The annual drug budget is quite sufficient to provide drugs continuously without any shortage,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Health Ministry, W.M.D.Wanninayaka, said that GMOA should first inform the Medical Supply Division (MSD) without making false statements to the public.

“We have already got down a stock of Pethadine from India. A stock of Morphine will arrive later this week from the UK. The Ministry has already taken steps to send the needed amount of Pethadine to North. Hence the GMOA should inform the MSD without giving false statements,” he reiterated.