Health sector trade unions and the Medical Supplies Division of the Health Ministry are at loggerheads over drug shortages in hospitals island wide.
The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) claims that the government has failed to supply several essential drugs to the state hospitals and the Medical Supplies Division has denied the claims.
Director of the Medical Supplies Division, Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe has said there was no drug shortage at the National Hospital, National Eye Hospital, hospitals in Anuradhapura and Vauniya or at any of the De Soysa Hospitals in the outstations.
He has said that when contacted, the hospitals had denied any drug shortages.
He has noted that since a total of about 21,000 varieties of drugs are purchased every year the unavailability of four or five drugs was considered a minor issue.
However, Dr. Jayasinghe has said that the Salbactum Antibiotic was a special drug that was only purchased on request and that it was not listed under the essential drugs category.
Nevertheless, the HSTUA has maintained that theColomboEyeHospitalwas short of drugs such as Atenolol, Atovastation and Nifidipine.