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Medical emergency declared in Sri Lanka as crisis worsens

The nation's top medical body, the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) said it had decided to declare a medical emergency in Sri Lanka following a crisis meeting on Monday.

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Colombo: Sri Lanka’s economic crisis took a turn for the worse on Tuesday when the country’s top medical body declared a public health emergency in the country due to a shortage of medicines and equipment, BBC reported on Tuesday.

The nation’s top medical body, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said it had decided to declare a medical emergency in Sri Lanka following a crisis meeting on Monday.

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Its members across the country have reported critical shortages of medicine and equipment, with hospitals struggling to provide even emergency medical care, the association said.

“Both the government and health ministry have failed to prevent a complete breakdown of the medical system,” GMOA said in a statement, meaning that the government has not even been able to guarantee people’s right to life and the right to healthcare services.”

Sri Lanka has a universal public health system, funded by taxpayer money which means citizens can access free healthcare at any state-run facility. The latest decision means that the state healthcare facilities, upon which a majority of Sri Lankans depend on, will now only give emergency and urgent care services on priority.

The announcement is the latest in a series of blows to the people of Sri Lanka as the South Asian nation has been facing its worse economic crisis ever with power cuts and shortages of essential commodities like fuel, electricity, food and medicines due to an economic and foreign exchange crisis. 

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