Monday, April 22, 2024

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GMOA Questions Unprecedented Medicine Procurement Budget

Dr. Haritha Aluthge, Secretary of the Government Medical Officers’ Association, contested the allocation of Rs.181 billion from this year’s budget for medicine procurement, emphasizing that such a historic allocation is unnecessary. Addressing a press conference in Karapitiya, Galle, Aluthge raised concerns about the allocated budget, citing previous instances of misappropriation.

Aluthge expressed the association’s intent to safeguard a portion of the allocated funds, underscoring past incidents where a significant sum meant for procurement vanished due to corruption and fraudulent emergency purchases, amounting to thirty to forty billion rupees lost by the government and the populace.

Despite these challenges, Aluthge voiced optimism about collaborating with the new Health Minister, praising the Minister’s grasp of healthcare intricacies. Acknowledging the urgency of various pressing issues, such as medicine shortages, equipment breakdowns affecting human resources, and the exodus of doctors from the country, Aluthge stressed the need for immediate redressal.

Recognizing the complexity of resolving all issues simultaneously, Aluthge highlighted the gravity of the medicine shortage problem, directly impacting lives. He stressed the imperative nature of effective human resource management and disclosed discussions with the Minister about establishing a system, in conjunction with the President, to retain local doctors—an initiative the association is committed to supporting.

Amidst these discussions, Aluthge raised eyebrows over the unprecedented allocation of Rs.181 billion for medicine procurement, asserting its potential surplus. The association contends that this mammoth budget may not be fully necessary and aims to explore avenues to save a portion of these funds earmarked for medicine procurement.

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