(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Health Minister Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella said sufficient quantities of all 14 life-saving medicines for the next six months are available in the country.
The Minister said that the shortage of certain medicines in the country can be resolved within the next month and that the focus is on many long-term, short-term and medium-term solutions for the drug shortage problem.
Minister Keheliya Rambukwella made these claims when he met the German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Holger Seubert, at the Ministry of Health yesterday (25).
The Minister said that the country’s pharmaceutical drug production, which is about 20 percent, will be increased to 50 percent in the next few years and the necessary support will be given to investors, manufacturers, industrialists and others to produce the drugs needed by the country.
The Health Minister said contracts have already been signed for pharmaceutical production projects and the agreements for the subsequent purchase of their products have also been signed.
The minister also said that many concessions will be given to the manufacturers including exemption from tax for importing equipment. He added that 12 investors have invested in factories for the new projects.
Minister Rambukwella said that more saline will be produced in the country and many medicines and equipment will be produced in the future.
The minister said that the government hopes to enter into memorandums of understanding with the countries that supply medicines to this country and that includes Germany, which is a leading country in the supply of medicines. The minister said six European countries, India, Japan and Indonesia have joined the process of supplying medicines.
A discussion was held between the German Ambassador and the Minister of Health as well as Ministry officials regarding the construction of the Galle Mahamodara Maternity and Neonatal Hospital and the German ambassador requested to make the necessary arrangements to finish its work soon.
The Minister in response said that the President’s attention has already been drawn to it and he hopes to discuss it in the cabinet.
Secretary of the Ministry of Health Janaka Sri Chandragupta, Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Deputy Head (Operations) of the German Embassy Olaf Malchow, in Sri Lanka were also present on this occasion.