Sri Lanka is running out of almost all basic amenities such as food and fuel due to the current economic crisis. The doctors in the country have said that they are now running out of medicine as well.
The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) said that hospitals in the country no longer have access to imported medical tools and essential drugs.
“We are made to make very difficult choices. We have to decide who gets treatment and who will not,” the SLMA said in a statement. “If supplies are not restored within days, the casualties will be far worse than from the pandemic,” it added.
The neonatologists in the country have also made desperate pleas and have asked for help from their colleagues worldwide, according to a report in The Hindu.
“This is a critical message for colleagues overseas. Many things are lacking in our hospital set up, and we paediatricians and neonatologists are especially worried about the shortage of ET Tubes to ventilate newborn babies. Stocks would very soon run out,” said Dr. Saman Kumar in a message uploaded on YouTube.
The country is facing its worst financial crisis since its independence in 1948, and has been seeing nationwide protests. Sri Lanka is currently facing a foreign exchange and debt crisis and has been unable to import essential items including fuel, food, and medicine.
Thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets to hold demonstrations against the current regime. Opposition parties, activists and business leaders have all asked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down.
The Sri Lankan government has also turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek a bailout to solve the crisis. It needs to service $6.9 billion of debt this year and its foreign exchange reserves stand at a mere $2.3 billion.
Experts say that the pandemic induced economic recession coupled with government mismanagement is what exacerbated the crisis in the country. The newly appointed finance minister, Ali Sabry, has said that the country is expecting $3bn from the IMF to support Sri Lanka’s balance of payments.