Sri Lankan Doctors Warn of Medicine Shortage Consequences Amid Economic Crisis

Sri Lankan doctors have warned that all hospitals in the country could collapse and a catastrophic number of people could die if medicine shortage and power cuts continue.

Dr. Senal Fernando, secretary at the Government Medical Officers Association, said that people will start dying in two weeks if the government will not take actions to address the medicine shortage and power cuts.

Drugs to treat heart attacks and breathing tubes for new born babies are in short supply, officials and health workers said. Dr. Lakkumar Fernando, president of the Association of Medical Specialists, said that a patient having a heart attack would have a higher chance of dying because of the crisis. Dr. LPC Saman Kumara, president of Perinatal Society of Sri Lanka, said he ordered hospitals to sterilize used tubes to be reused.

Doctors also reported of  stitching wounds and treating snakebites in the dark as the government resorted to electricity cuts to meet financial needs for essential imports, including fuel and medicines.

Several hospitals have also suspended routine surgeries and have reduced laboratory tests.

Sri Lanka has been pushed to its worst financial state in decades after its economy was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s current government has resorted to Sri Lanka’s foreign reserve to pay off its debt, affecting the country’s economic status.

The Sri Lankan government has turned to the International Monetary Fund, as well as China and India for financial assistance.

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