Nat. drug policy could halve budgetary allocation

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

If the National Drug Policy was implemented, the allocation of money in the annual budget could be halved. Due to the inadequate funds allocated to the State Sector, people were forced to seek medical attention at the private hospitals. Instead of the free health care service provided to the people the government had privatised the health services, because drugs, medical equipment, laboratory investigation facilities and even expensive Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be done at the private hospitals.

The allocation of money in the budget should be at least 4.5 percent of the GDP, Prof.Seneka Bilile Commemorative Society Organizer Dr. Jayantha Bandara told a media conference in Colombo on November 4.

Dr. Bandara pointed out that the World Health Organization’s and the Central Bank’s National Health Account Database in 2011 had shown that Sri Lanka’s annual health expenditure was only 1.36 per cent where as it should be at least 4.5 per cent. The annual allocation for the health sector was currently Rs. 60 to 70 billion. But, allocation of money could not cure the ills of the sector. The drug and medical equipment purchasing should be streamlined.

He added that due to the non-availability of a drug quality assurance lab, the private sector’s import of quality drugs was a matter of great concern. Even the government-owned drug quality assurance lab could only assure a few kinds of the drugs.


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