The Ministry of Health says the country’s health system can continue to provide necessary medicines and treatment to patients regardless of the economic crisis.
Ministry Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta said in allocating state funds, priority has been given towards the health sector while the Ministry has directed attention to medicines and medical equipment.
Speaking at a media briefing held today (13) at the Health Ministry, the Secretary said the government has allocated sufficient funds for the Health Ministry for the years 2022 and 2023.
He said in comparison to before, an increase in the number of patients visiting hospitals for various treatments following the coronavirus has increased while the demand for medicines and medical equipment has increased as well.
Chandragupta added the the need for equipment will be identified while the supply process will continue.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of the Medical Supply Division Dr. DRK Herath joining the media briefing said 80% of medicines required in the country are imported, with 20% produced locally and many projects due to be implemented in future to manufacture drugs locally.
Dr. Herath said although there are certain obstacles in the supply of medicines due to the global pandemic and the dollar crisis caused by economic issues, the supply network of medicines will continue.
He added that certain obstacles arose in the importation of raw materials for the production of medicines in Sri Lanka that led to the supply of medicines being affected.
Dr. Herath noted that in order to manage the drug shortage, a system of sharing drugs between hospitals, and daily updated information over the increase and decrease of drugs in the relevant hospitals has been introduced.
He said information pertaining to medicines can be obtained via the 1990 hotline.
Furthermore, Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said there are more than 10,000 types of medicines and medical equipment in the country’s health system, adding that certain medicines and medical equipment that are in excess or are in short supply will be assessed based on a daily analysis.
He said the dedication of everyone from lower levels to health workers is paramount to ensure a stringent healthcare system in the country.