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Shortage of Medicines Plagues Government Hospitals, Patients Seek Relief Amid Crisis

Patients seeking medical care at government hospitals nationwide are facing significant challenges due to a shortage of medicines, compelling them to turn to private pharmacies for alternatives. The scarcity has been particularly acute at the National Hospital Colombo, where patients are forced to incur additional expenses by purchasing medications from private sources. This situation disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged patients.

According to ‘Swastha,’ the information management system for medicinal drug availability, crucial items like stents, including Double J stent 6Fr, 26cm length, and various sizes of Ureteric stents for pediatric and adult patients, are among the medications in short supply. Additionally, drugs such as Amoxicillin are also facing shortages.

Dr. G. Wijesuriya, Deputy Director General (Medical Services), acknowledged the shortage, noting its recurring nature, but emphasized the potential use of alternative medications to mitigate its impact.

Thushara Ranadeva, President of the Society of Government Pharmacists, highlighted a notable 20-30% deficit in certain drugs presently. He attributed the current shortage to the mismanagement of funds allocated by international organizations during the tenure of Former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.

Authorities are urged to take immediate action to address the shortage and alleviate the plight of patients who rely on government hospitals for their medical needs.

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