Hospitals are struggling to stay afloat amid an acute shortage of doctors, nurses and equipment, amid fears the country could become a “disaster zone” as the government fails to meet its health and social care goals.
The latest warning comes from the World Health Organization (WHO), which said that the shortage of health workers is a key reason why hospitals are being shut down across Sri Lanka.
The country’s healthcare system was also hit by a massive electricity blackout in March, forcing doctors and other workers to stay home for several days.
The government says it has fixed many of the problems but has yet to provide the necessary equipment to ensure that the country can continue to function.
The WHO said that there are more than 10,000 doctors and nurses in the country, but many of them are unable to get the medical equipment they need to work.
“Many of these facilities are not capable of operating as they do not have adequate staffing, and the shortage in health workers and equipment is a significant impediment to the functioning of these hospitals,” it said.
There is a shortage of medical equipment in many parts of the country with medical supplies being scarce and hospitals struggling to meet the demand for their services.
The crisis has caused the country to fall behind in many of its key health and humanitarian targets.
The shortage of healthcare workers is also a major factor behind a deadly outbreak of coronavirus in Sri Lankan hospitals last month, with the government blaming a lack of supplies for the coronaviruses outbreak.
The World Health Organisation has warned that hospitals are now facing a “consequences” if they do too little to cope with the outbreak.