Home / Healthcare/ Regulations for health sector

Regulations for health sector

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 27 September 2017 00:00

By Ashwin Hemmathagama, 

Our Lobby Correspondent

The brave actions of Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne that reduced prices of 48 essential medicines and accessories used for treatments got praised by fellow lawmakers last week in Parliament.

Joining the debate on regulations moved under the National Medicines Regulatory Authority Act, the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne stated Dr. Rajitha was able to stand against the international drug mafia.

“There is corruption in the health sector and it is similar to a cancer. We know that there was a medicines mafia operative in this country. For years, medicines under different brand names were imported at exorbitant prices and the people had no choice but to pay this price which greatly profited the medicine importers. Those who suffered from exorbitant prices were the poor who were unable to afford.”  Praising the people centric policy of the current Government, State Minister said: “However, from 1976 to 2017 nothing was done to address this issue and establish Prof. Seneka Bibile policy. But the current Health Minister took a bold decision and implemented regulatory measures and consequently the prices of 48 medicines were reduced. None of the predecessors were capable to do that including the then Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena who didn’t have the freedom to do that under President Mahinda Rajapakse. Today, with the blessings of the current Government and the President, the current Health Minister was able to establish Senaka Bibile policy in Sri Lanka. As a result, many medicines came down drastically. We have reduced the prices of intraocular lenses in February. This is serving the public and protecting their rights.”

State Minister charged the doctors and their unions, which are after pound of flesh. “There is a monopoly of doctors, who would strike if they are not given the vehicle permit and if unable to put their children to better schools. Free education is given to all and doctors are obliged to provide their services to the people. This is free health service. No room should be given to destroy the faith people have on doctors and no one should be allowed to monopolise the medical field. They were against the ambulance services in the beginning. Now many parts of the island are covered by this ambulance service. Gone are the days where the ordinary patients had to use a three-wheeler to transport,” he added.

Explaining the background which led the Government to spend public money for cancellation of the Airbus order placed under Rajapaksa regime, he said: “Ragapaksa regime agreed to purchase eight Airbus A350-900 aircrafts. Each aircraft is capable of flying over 17 hours non-stop. But they would have had a plan service beyond Europe, which we serve now. Currently the longest route we take is to London. So, these new aircrafts are not required to reach London and the agreement was cancelled by the current Government. The cancellation led us to make certain payments. We are in the process of investigation the legality of the agreement placed to obtain the aircrafts.”


Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

22 June 1941: Operation Barbarossa

Friday, 22 June 2018

When Adolf Hitler founded his Third Reich in January of 1933 there was a decisive ‘quickening’ of history towards the cataclysmic

Why we’re not so keen to keep nepotism in the family

Friday, 22 June 2018

Some years ago, when the then President of Sri Lanka came in for calumny for having his son accompany him in a prominent

Everything about Trump’s diplomacy is commercial

Friday, 22 June 2018

President Trump is repeatedly boasting about his success in negotiating with North Korea. For decades and through

A brief guide to the legal system of China

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The law of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is officially referred to as the “socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics”. The formation and development of the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics are compatible with

Columnists More