By Saman Indrajith
Former Health Minister and Kalutara District SJB MP Dr Rajitha Senaratne says that the Health Ministry is controlled by a Mafia.
Addressing the media in Colombo on Tuesday, Dr. Senaratne said:
“When a registered Danish company offered to provide Insulin at a price of USD 1.55 the ministry selected an unregistered Ukrainian company, which offered the same drug at USD 4. They have purchased Ephedrine at Rs 136.50 when it is available at Rs 45,” Dr Senaratne said, producing the copies of documents of tenders.
“The government claims that the registered companies will not sell us drugs because they have not been paid. This is a lie. Doctors here say that these medicines are substandard.
Dr. Senaratne said that SPC had suffered losses amounting to billions of rupees by purchasing ephedrine. “An ampule of ephedrine is available at Rs 45, but they purchased 145,000 ampules at Rs 136.50 an ampule. The loss per an ampule was Rs 91.50. The loss comes in billions of rupees.
“These are the tenders received by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation. The SPC was set up by Prof Senaka Bibile, who was the founder of Sri Lankan drug policy. He was the first Chairman of the SPC set up to ensure the rights of patients against the pharmaceutical companies. When I was the Health Minister the SPC recorded a profit of over two billion rupees. It is the highest record of profit so far since the inception of the SPC. With those profits, I increased the salaries of SPC workers by 50 percent and the balance was given to the government. We were able to achieve the vision set by Prof Bibile in establishing the SPC,” Dr Senaratne said.
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