9th September 2001
With power cuts increasing by the day,
Dr. A.M.L. Beligaswatta, Director General of Health Services, told The Sunday Times the recommendations by Sri Lanka's main professional body would receive the full support of the government. Amidst a fresh campaign to restore patients' rights by providing safe and good quality medical drugs at the lowest possible price, the SLMA recently made four recommendations;
1. Doctors should retain the right to prescribe drugs which are most appropriate to patients.
2. Doctors should use only generic names when prescribing in state hospitals.
3. In the private sector a doctor should use generic names of drugs and add the relevant trade name if he or she wishes to do so.
4. Doctors should be mindful of the cost of drugs when prescribing.
A spokesman for the Action Committee on Justice for patients said the recommendations by the SLMA were a breakthrough in the campaign to enhance the health rights of the patients.
The action committee at a meeting on Wednesday decided to launch an awareness week from October 1 to 8 coinciding with Health Week.
Dr. Beligaswatte also said yesterday he also agreed the whole drug imports
policy needed to be reviewed and the number drastically cut down. He said
he had already taken an initiative regarding treatment of cancer and called
for a report from consultants with a view to drawing up a protocol on drug
By Dilrukshi HandunnettiThe loss by way of duty to the state for the importation of 71 luxury vehicles for first time MPs is estimated to be around Rs. 300 million.
Each MP is expected to buy the vehicle over five years by paying Rs. 10,000 as monthly installment on a depreciating scale.
The MPs qualify to ownership at the end of five years for half the original price.
Under the scheme 19 PA MPs, 33 UNPers, nine JVP members, two NUA MPs, two SLMC MPs, one CWC MP, one ACTC MP and one Sihala Urumaya MP have ordered vehicles.
Among the ordered vehicles, the most popular category is Mitsubishi Montero with 48 MPs opting for it. Three Mercedes Benz cars, five Toyota Land Cruisers, seven Toyota double cabs, two Toyota Hiace vans, two Nissan Petrol vehicles and three super luxury BMWs are among the vehicles ordered.
Despite the JVP having imposed tough conditions on the PA government regarding the import of luxury vehicles for ministers and top officials, the JVP MPs have also applied for new duty-free vehicles. JVP Parliamentary Group leader Wimal Weerawansa said that in no way could the vehicles ordered by them fall under the category of 'luxury vehicles.' He said that all parliamentarians required some sort of vehicles to do their work.
"We have opted for hardy and practical vehicle
President of the Association S.P.W. Jayasiriwardene told The Sunday Times, he had not been charge sheeted or given any reason for this step. Mr. Jayasiriwardene had written to the Chairman of SLIC on June 13, requesting a discussion on ten matters, which included unreasonable charge sheets being served on assessors and punishment of assessors without an impartial inquiry. However,, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation chairman Lal de Mel told The Sunday Times they were taking action to reduce the number of assignments given to assessors against whom complaints had been made. The assessors were on a roster and were expected to submit their reports within two days, Mr. de Mel said. He said that an islandwide survey of the work done by assessors was to be carried out by reviewing clients reports.
Mr. Jayasiriwardene claimed that his removal from assignments came soon
after he had sent a letter to the Chairman of SLIC requesting a discussion
on the demands of the assessors after they had formed themselves into a
By Tania FernandoAfter almost one year since the ending of the monopoly of Shell Gas Lanka Ltd., a new entrant will from next month sell gas at Rs, 100 less than the Shell price.
LAUGFS Lanka Gas Chairman W. K. H. Wegapitiya says his company will sell a 12.5 kg cylinder of gas at Rs. 409 with the initial deposit for a cylinder being Rs. 1950. The price of a Shell cylinder of gas is Rs. 509.
The company signed an agreement with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Treasury on Thursday. Under this agreement, the company will sell gas at Rs. 409 for the next three years.
Mr. Wegapitiya said the company would stick by the agreement and supply to both the CPC and the domestic consumer at the same price.
"Profits from the first year will be reinvested in a terminal in Galle for which land has already been identified," Mr. Wegapitiya said, assuring that a quality service would be maintained.
LAUGFS will initially begin operations in the Western Province and gradually move on to the other provinces.
Meanwhile a Dow Jones wire service story said the government has received three bids for its 49 percent stakes in Shell Gas Lanka Ltd.
The Public Enterprises Reform Commission (PERC) had received three expressions of interest for the government's 49% stake in Shell Gas Lanka Ltd, the report said.
The bidders included two local companies, Master Divers Ltd. and McLarens Holdings and a foreign company, International Energy Group Ltd. Shell Group holds a 51% stake in Shell Gas Lanka. Officials said uncertainties in the global petroleum market were the main cause of the slow response to the government's stake sale.
The government is looking to fetch around $30 million from the divestiture.
Meanwhile, political sources said the sale of government's stakes in the Shell company is in the balance as a result of the PA-JVP deal which calls for the suspension of privatisation programmes for 12 months.
s leaving the luxury items to the capitalists,", he said. The JVP members have ordered Toyota double cabs and two Toyota Hiace vans.
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