The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has proactively addressed critical issues within Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector, recognising the importance of patient safety, access to quality healthcare, and fostering industry growth.
The Ceylon Chamber initiated a meeting with the Minister of Health Mr. Keheliya Rambukwella, and outlined a comprehensive plan of action to revitalize the national healthcare system. In addition to the Minister of Health and Director General of the Ministry of Health Dr. Asela Gunawardane, the meeting comprised the Chairman of The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Mr. Duminda Hulangamuwa, Board Members of the Ceylon Chamber, and representatives of key private healthcare industry stakeholders.
The key focus areas discussed were the importance of patient safety, access to quality healthcare, and creating an environment that facilitates effective and efficient industry operations. As a direct result of this engagement, the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) Pricing Committee has committed to accelerate its efforts to establish a new pricing formula for medicinal drugs, addressing long-persisting pricing concerns.
The Ceylon Chamber raised concerns regarding excessive regulations hindering progress within the healthcare system, causing delays, and creating a fast-growing gray market, which will be detrimental to patient safety. Proposed measures aim to streamline administrative processes, implement proper pricing mechanisms, and ensure a fair playing field for all stakeholders.
The Minister invited the Ceylon Chamber to lend support to the implementation of a digital system that would enhance transparency and regulation, as well as the establishment of accredited laboratories to maintain stringent quality standards.
Emphasizing the need for clarity in defining essential and non-essential drugs, the Chamber Chamber advocated for precise regulations to prevent misinterpretations. Separate regulations for medical devices, distinct from medicines, are also on the agenda to streamline registration processes.
Stressing that the highlighted issues are collectively negatively impacting public safety regarding access to quality healthcare, the Ceylon Chamber and industry stakeholders stressed the importance of ensuring that ministry-level decisions effectively translate into tangible improvements at the NMRA level, and pledged to support the government to implement necessary measures.