COLOMBO (NewsRadio); Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella says there is no shortage of vital medication in the country despite various rumors.
Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella made this assertion during a meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Health in Parliament.
In response to concerns raised by Members of Parliament regarding the on-going rumors regarding the shortage of medicine in the country, Minister Rambukwella stated that the USD 28 million grant provided by China, has been utilized to ensure the supply of 14 vital medicines required.
Furthermore, the Minister explained that an allocation of USD 200 million from the Indian credit line has been made to cater to the needs of the health sector.
He also stated that Cabinet approval has been granted to allocate the remaining USD 35 million from the USD 1 billion received from the Indian credit line in addition to the USD 200 million for the same.
The statement issued by the Communication Department of Parliament said further concerns were raised regarding excessive charges in private hospitals in a context where free health is facing challenges to meet the demand due to the forex crisis.
Members of Parliament stated that given the failure to maintain government hospitals and provide with requisite medical equipment, patients are thus compelled to obtain the service of private hospitals.
The Health Minister had stated that by next year approximately a 25-30 percent of increase in those who will resort to government hospitals is unavoidable.
He stated that it has come to a point where the middle-income category cannot afford private hospital facilities further.
The Minister also emphasized that the Ministry of Finance allocates funds first and foremost for the purpose of paying the wages of public servants, for forces and for pensioners and then prioritizes allocating money for health.
Furthermore, concerns were also raised about transfers of the technical medical staff.
Members of Parliament were of the view that since technical medical staff are stationed in areas far away from their hometowns, they face great difficulties especially in times of an economic crisis.
Minister Rambukwella stated that a decision should be arrived at to transfer everyone subjected to a limit of five to six years.
The Minister stated that there are practical concerns in arranging transfers as it is hard to find someone willing to agree to a mutual exchange between stations.