Administrative shortcomings of the Health Ministry cause a loss of around Rs. four billion each year from reagents required for laboratory tests, alleges the association of health professionals.
President of their association Ravi Kumudesh said Rs. 10 billion of public money is spent on reagents for state-run hospitals annually.
The deputy director in charge of laboratory services could save Rs. four billion out of that sum by properly regulating the procurement procedure, he said.
Instead of creating a competitive atmosphere, officials and experts have intentionally monopolised the process.
Hospital administrators have become partners to this racket despite many reports and written instructions by the director general of health services in this regard, said Kumudesh.
Further, decisions taken by a few specialist doctors for the Drugs Regulatory Authority are not regulated as it does not have a single laboratory professional in its staff.
Purchases are made only from the supplier recommended by them at any price submitted.
At the Colombo National Hospital alone, Rs. 200 million is wasted annually from biochemistry tests, Kumudesh charged.