COLOMBO (NewsRadio); Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella says all 14 types of life-saving medicines are available in the country at present.
Speaking to media, Health Minister Rambukwella said despite the shortage of certain types of drugs, the Ministry is in possession of all life-saving medicines.
Minister Rambukwella added that a majority of essential drugs are also in stocks.
He acknowledged however around 153 essential drugs out of a list of 384 essential drugs are in short supply.
The Minister stressed that the government is taking steps to import such drugs promptly.
Meanwhile, yesterday Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the importation of medicines under the Indian credit line will be completed only after Cabinet approval and via a transparent procurement process.
Minister Rambukwella speaking at a media briefing said, medicines cannot be bought in the same manner as sugar, dhal, or rice adding that a standardised process is in place.
The Minister said along with ordering medicines, a certain period must be granted to companies related to the production of drugs which in some cases requires four to five months.
He stated, after the production of medicines, they cannot be kept similar to other products.
The Minister said in the recent past, certain media outlets acted maliciously over the process of importing medicines under the Indian credit line adding that the facts are devoid of truth, especially in relation to the Cabinet Paper.
Minister Rambukwella said media claimed that the President and the Cabinet were bypassed and the process approved adding that the process received due Cabinet approval.
He noted that after being declared a bankrupt country, India granted Sri Lanka USD 1 billion to be used for emergencies of which USD 200 million was granted to the health sector in April.
The Health Minister said the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank granted Sri Lanka USD 100 million, the Asian Development Bank USD 67 million and China USD 28 million.