Mohan Samaranayake, Department of Government Information Director General, claimed there is no shortage of medicine or surgical equipment in public hospitals.
This is blatantly false. In just over 48 hours, Watchdog has received over 50 responses from doctors from hospitals across the country, reporting critical shortages of essential medicines and equipment. Furthermore, the Government Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) requested the Secretary of the Ministry of Health to declare a health emergency in the country.
Subsequently, they have have published a post about the drug shortage and a call for donations for an extensive list of medications [*]. Multiple news organizations, both local and international, have also reported on shortages of essential drugs, and NewsFirst has reported on scheduled surgeries at Peradeniya Hospital being suspended. Watchdog is tracking the situation and will make both shortage data and vetted donation points public in a few days.
Sources - Watchdog’s Medicine and Equipment Shortage Demand Mapping Project, GMOA, NewsFirst, TNL Radio Network, Reuters, Nikkei Asia. [*] Archived GMOA call for donations: https://web.archive.org/web/20220411173837/https://www.gmoa.lk/drug-shortage-in-sri-lanka/