Connect with us

News

State Minister admits difficulty in tackling ‘Medicine Mafia’

Published

on

It was extremely difficult to streamline the procurement process, State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Prof. Channa Jayasumana has told the ITN.

Prof. Jayasumana alleged that organised groups made massive profits at taxpayers’ expense through overpricing and excess orders. He, however, said some progress had been made in tackling the problem since the change of government in 2019.

Responding to interviewer Dasun Wasantha, Prof. Jayasumana explained how a section of the medical community was part of the lucrative racket.

The state minister explained how those in authority manipulated the procurement, storage, and distribution systems for their advantage. Prof. Jayasumana alleged that as waste, corruption and irregularities had been taking place with impunity for a long time it would not be an easy task remedy it.

The state minister claimed that streamlining of processes helped the government to save as much as Rs 3.5 bn since he took over the newly created State Ministry. Inquiries had revealed various medicines available at stores of a particular hospital could be distributed among wards to indicate an immediate requirement, Prof. Jayasumana said, underscoring the urgent need to introduce new systems to close loopholes.

The state minister alleged that unscrupulous persons working in unison with those in the public sector created artificial shortages for their benefit. Commenting on continuing import of inferior cosmetics, Prof. Jayasumana explained how those manipulated the regulatory process to enable the market to be flooded with extremely poor-quality items. The state minister did not mince his words when he discussed how some doctors, too, contributed to corrupt practices.

Without naming the former Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Prof. Jayasumana flayed the medical administration during the Yahapalana government with the focus on how cancer patients and their families had been brazenly fleeced. There had been instances where what could be purchased for Rs 10,000 marked up as much as Rs 135,000 to 140,000, the state minister said, claiming that one questionable transaction alone was estimated at Rs 840 mn (SF)

 

 



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Avishka and Sadeera power Jaffna Kings to nine wicket win

Published

on

By

Half tons by Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrema powered Jaffna Kings to a nine wicket win over Dambulla giants in the 3rd match of the LPL at MRICS Hambanthota on Wednesday (07)

Dambulla Giants 121/9 in 20 overs (Jordan Cox 43; Maheesh Theekshana 3/20, Vijayakanth Vijaskanth 3/24, James Fuller 2/16, Zaman Khan 1/28)

Jaffna Kings 122/1 in 15.4 overs (Avishka Fernando 51 , Sadeera Samarawickrema 62 not out; Noor Ahamed 1/28)

Continue Reading

News

Govt. says selling state assets only way to build reserves and prevent crippling shortages

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday (06) said Sri Lanka wouldn’t be in a position to be part of the international trading system unless it boosted its foreign reserves by selling some of its assets. Gunawardena, who also holds media and transport portfolios said so at yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing.

Responding to a query about the government’s decision to divest vital national assets, the Minister said that if Sri Lanka did not shore up its reserves to the tune of over three billion dollars, international companies would not accept the letters of credit given by Sri Lankan banks.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Finance Minister, has proposed privatising of several state enterprises including Sri Lanka Insurance and Sri Lanka Telecom.

“Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga sold a number of state owned enterprises. If we don’t increase our reserves, to over three billion USD soon, we will have problems importing fuel, and other essential items. Last week, Fitch again reduced our rating. No matter who governs Sri Lanka, they will all face the same problem. We need to build our reserves,” the Minister said.

Minister Gunawardane said that the need of the hour was to sell some assets and boost Sri Lanka’s reserves.

“China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia are attracting a lot of investors. Only we have failed to do so, and we need to think why this is. Even our entrepreneurs are leaving for other countries. We need to change the way we think, if we want to attract investors to Sri Lanka,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

Ven Siridhamma, Mudalige granted bail; latter re-arrested

Published

on

Convenor of Bhikku Balamandalaya affiliated Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Ven. Galwewa Siridhamma Thera leaving Court yesterday (06) after Kaduwela Magistrate Chanima Wijebandara granted him bail. The Thera was held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for causing damages to public property during a protest opposite the Education Ministry, over three months back. The Magistrate ordered the Thera released after the police failed to identify the monk at an identification parade. However, IUSF Convenor Wasanatha Mudalige, who was also released by the Magistrate, after the police couldn’t identify him, was taken into custody in connection with some other case.

Pics by Kamal Bogoda

Continue Reading

Trending