Hospitals in Sri Lanka are forced to postpone life-saving procedures for their patients because they do not have the necessary drugs.
Sri Lanka imports more than 80 percent of its medical supplies but with foreign currency reserves running out because of the crisis, essential medications are disappearing from shelves and the healthcare system is close to collapse.
“It is very bad for cancer patients,” said Dr Roshan Amaratunga. “Sometimes, in the morning we plan for some surgeries but we may not be able to do on that particular day as supplies are not there.” If the situation does not improve quickly, several patients will be facing a virtual death sentence, he said.
Doctors say they are more worried than the patients or their relatives, as they are aware of the potential size of the problem and its impact on the wider population.
A government official working on procuring medical supplies said about 180 items were running out, including injections for dialysis patients, medicine for patients who have undergone transplants and certain cancer drugs.
Referring to the ubiquitous queues for petrol and cooking gas, Dr Vasan Ratnasingam, a spokesman for the Government Medical Officers’ Association, said the consequences for people awaiting treatment were so much more dire.
“If patients are in a queue for drugs, they will lose their lives,” said Ratnasingam.
‘Death sentence’: Doctors in Sri Lanka decry medicine shortage | Health News | Al Jazeera
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