Shortage of essential drugs and medical equipmentMay 20, 2012, 10:41 pm
By Don Asoka Wijewardena
Essential drugs and medical equipment have been out of stock in 58 government-run hospitals and 500 district, base and peripheral hospitals and central dispensaries under provincial councils.
Although the Health Ministry boasted of having allocated additional funds to make more drugs and medical equipment available, the quantities issued by the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) were rather inadequate, All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe alleged yesterday.
Kumarasinghe said that the health service had gone from bad to worse as several kinds of drugs and equipment needed by hospitals had been out of stock for the last few months. Even plasters were out of stock in some district hospitals, he said.
When contacted for comment, MSD Director Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe said that the MSD had been supplying drugs and medical equipment direct to the Regional Medical Supplies Divisions which were mainly responsible for distributing them to the health institutions by the provincial councils.
Dr. Jayasinghe said: "On the orders placed by the RMSD, the MSD has taken action to supply drugs and medical equipment. There has been a shortage of several kinds of drugs, but bottles of saline and IV sets are available. The numbers of admissions have increased of late. When more patients are admitted more drugs are used to treat them."
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