The Medical and Civil Rights Professional Association (MCPA) said Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe had surpassed the Health Minister and Health officials who were in denial of a medicinal drug shortage in the country by admitting to it.

MCPA President, Dr. Chamal Sanjeewa said his outfit had taken measures as soon as the drug crisis emerged to inform the public, the authorities and politicians. But the incumbent Health Minister and health authorities only browbeat the trade unions that warned of the drug crisis and possible increase in the price of medicines as a result. Unions accused of causing fear in the minds of the public and sending them astray by creating a bogeyman.

He alleged that repeated appeals to the Health Minister and his officials to discuss the issue fell on deaf ears. However, they have been forced to own-up to the truth in the face of queries made by the Prime Minister. He said Wickremesinghe in his address to the nation had informed the public of the tremendous crisis in the health service and that it would be a challenge to continue providing it for another 12 weeks.

The health service would be unable to contribute towards economic recovery in the country, if the Prime Minister does not curtail unnecessary wastage of billions of rupees like that spent in importing Covid -19 vaccines which could have been purchased at a lower cost and purchasing drugs close to their date of expiry also at a high price.

He also referred to the data scam that had taken place at the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) and the PCR and Antigen scam that occurred during  Covid -19 control. 

By Dilanthi Jayamanne