Shortage of essential medicines in Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 May 2008, 03:18 GMT]
Health service in Jaffna peninsula will be facing a crisis if the fast dwindling stocks of medicines in Jaffna Teaching Hospital and other hospitals in Jaffna peninsula are not replenished immediately, District Public Health Service (DPHS) sources said. Repeated requests to he Ministry of Health remain unattended due to disinterest and calculated step-motherly attitude of the authorities in charge of this affair, Jaffna Health officials added.

The allocation of medicine for the first quarter of the year has not been fully sent to Jaffna peninsula while the allocation for the second quarter. Alhough shipment has been loaded in Colombo harbour a week ago, the ship is still held due to official negligence, sources in Colombo said.

Infectious diseases including fever isincreasing in the peninsula due to the excessive seasonal heat, and out patients in hospitals are unable to obtain regular medications including asprin, disprin, pandol and priton.

However, there is sufficient stock of these in the open market and the hospitals running short of medicaments have to purchase them through their respective Development Societies in the open market, hospital sources said.

Besides, stocks of medicines essential for monthly treatment and test materials for ailments like diabetes and blood pressure are almost exhausted, causing great distress to the patients coming to the clinics.

Lack of private hospitals in Jaffna peninsula places a heavy burden on the government hospitals and most of the patients being poor are unable to buy the essential medicines in the private shops.

If the second quarter allocation of medicines does not reach the peninsula within a few days the health service will have to face a serious crisis, health department sources said.

Jaffna Teaching Hospital and the rest of the regional and divisional hospitals in the peninsula which come under Jaffna DPHS face the same predicament.


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