Distributive policy

Health Sector Needs Policy Change – President

The Ministry of Health spends nearly 40% of the ministry’s drug expenditure to buy drugs for cancer patients, it was revealed during a meeting with the president. The report of the three-member committee appointed by the Association of Government Physicians to examine the drug shortage in the country was delivered to President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the President’s office on Saturday (03).

This report was delivered during the special meeting between the Association of Government Doctors and the President and the problems faced by the health sector and doctors were discussed at length.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the need for an urgent system to address the difficulties faced by the people due to drug shortages and rising drug prices. The president also said he would discuss with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund other needs in the health sector, including medicines.

The relevant committee’s report identified gaps in coordination between the Ministry of Health, Medical Supplies Division, State Pharmaceutical Corporation, State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation and National Drug Regulatory Authority, etc. Therefore, the report also suggested that a coordinating committee be appointed. by the Ministry of Health and a monthly progress report.

The committee’s report also proposed appointing a technical committee to study the Auditor General’s recommendations submitted over the past five years to resolve issues that have arisen due to the lack of action on the recommendations of the Auditor General’s reports over the past five years. last years.

Nearly 40% of government spending on drugs is allocated to providing drugs to cancer patients. Representatives of the Government Physicians Association have pointed out that there is a shortage of drugs and insulin for cancer patients and that steps should be taken to resolve the problem as soon as possible.

Rising drug prices have become a major issue in the country today and the need for a proactive decision by the government to provide some relief for essential drugs and the problem that can arise when patients avoid taking drugs or increase visits to public hospitals due to rising drug prices were discussed at length during the meeting.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also stressed the need for expansion and development of facilities at Colombo National Hospital, Kalubowila Hospital and Jayawardenapura Hospital, as well as the need for policy change in the entire health sector.

The Association of Government Doctors also submitted its proposals to the President regarding the payment of additional service allowances for doctors, official means of transport for doctors and the revision of these allowances, the revision of the administrative circular of the government concerning holidays abroad and the import of electric vehicles. tax benefits for public service professionals.

The President was also briefed on the introduction and development of medical tourism in Sri Lanka.

They pointed out the need to introduce a professional development program to improve the grades of all universities including Raja Rata, Peradeniya, Karapitiya, etc. approved by the University Grants Commission, and even though universities offer such courses of study, the department of the constitution of the Ministry of Health has not approved it. Therefore, the government should make political decisions regarding this issue. Attention was also paid to the changes to be made to the constitution of the doctors’ service.

The Government Physicians’ Association pointed to difficulties in sending foreign exchange to students studying abroad, and the president stressed that higher education policies there should be changed to earn foreign exchange.

The President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, the President’s Senior Advisor for Economic Affairs RHS Samaratunga, the General Manager of the Union Mr. Saman Ratnapriya and the President of the Government Doctors Association YVND Sirisena and other members participated in the discussion.