We hear these days that the Health Ministry is planning to take stern
action against errant private pharmacy owners with heavy fines and
imprisonment. It is a welcome move. But, what about the “Stocking
Doctors”? (this term never existed until recently) who run a mini and
mega pharmacies in an unethical manner inside their private practising
clinics manned and dispensed by their spouse, brothers, sisters or
unqualified persons. Are there any qualified pharmacists available in
their pharmacies? At one instance, a spouse of the doctor dispensed Vit
E Soft Gelatin Capsules ½ Cap per day when the prescribed 400 Mg Vit E
was not available in her pharmacy. The bewildered patient clarified with
the private pharmacy how to break this capsule into two.
It is alleged that some private pharmacies sell drugs without
prescriptions. We have to investigate why are they selling and in what
context. They are forced to engage in this practice as they do not
receive any prescriptions except for a few drugs from the prescribers
since the prescribers have lately turned into stocking doctors. Even if
they prescribe, it is in a small piece of paper scribbled without any
details. They prescribe what they have in their pharmacy shelves.
Prescription is not according to the ailment but according to the
drugs available in their pharmacy. It is also alleged that private
pharmacies are selling expensive drugs while drugs at cheap prices are
available. No one notices that PP doctors most of the time prescribe
expensive drugs while cheap brands are available and unfortunately no
mechanism is there to stop them doing so. Certain doctors have
“commitments” towards certain drug manufacturers/ distributors. It is a
spectacular scene to watch that the Gps on night duty running in between
their PP and hospital.
The latest trend emerging is even more alarming. Some male nurses,
radiographers and X-ray technicians attached to state hospitals are
running “channelling centres” close to hospitals where they too sell and
dispense drugs prescribed by visiting consultants and specialists. Some
opticians are selling ophthalmic preparations. Sounds strange? It is a
common phenomena now and in this context whom does the private
pharmacies sell their drugs to? Some private pharmacies survive on
selling groceries and cosmetics and not on selling drugs.
The situation is more prevalent in suburbs than cities. Hence, it is
unfair to target and ambush private pharmacies like criminals. There is
no society or union to protect the interest of the private pharmacies.
It is time that whoever, irrespective of private pharmacy owners or
doctors or paramedics who violate the law, to be brought to book and
bring an end to the menace where some doctors and paramedics are
becoming Mudalalees before the endemic becomes epidemic. It goes without
saying that there are many doctors with high esteem maintain their
status quo and perform within the parameters drawn. Only a few bad
apples spoil the rest.
Alfred G Turner
I urge the authorities entrusted with the revision of bus fare to
take into consideration the following facts.
If the initial bus fare is increased further, the illegal halting of
buses in between the bus halts will increase considerably. As it is with
the initial fare at Rs 6.00 when a bus stops outside a halt to pick up a
commuter, the resultant loss of foreign exchange is three US dollars
from every vehicle that slows down as a result of obstruction caused by
the unauthorised stoppage of a bus. Considerable amount of foreign
exchange is lost as a result. This is invisible as the fuel wasted is no
concern to the bus driver.
Bus crew are further encouraged to commit illegal stoppage of buses
as the return is good at every pick up in between halts.
Commuters are not bothered about economic losses to the country or
the inconvenience to other road users. Their concern is to board a bus
at any place outside a halt. Law enforcement officers are not available
to check these offences, but surprise checks should be made to rid this
menace. Heavy fines must be imposed.
The second stage fare should be increased to Rs 4.00 as we find that
the conductors normally do not return the balance one rupee with the
excuse of “no change”. This is a very common practice.
Gradual phasing of the revision for a reasonable increase should be
considered taking into consideration the distance travelled. If the
initial fare is increased to Rs 10.00 there will be mayhem on the road
with each driver trying to outbeat the other to enhance his days
collection. The result would be more accidents because of competition.
Massive overloading should be checked so that every bus gets a fair
number of passengers.
Commuters must know how many buses ply on a particular route and
there must be time tables displayed at every major halt for the
information of the public. There must be more SLTB buses plying on every
route but they must actually run with passengers without going behind
U Rajapaksa Battaramulla.
The UNP that sees power slipping, seeing the Mahinda Chintanaya, the
joint political and economic plan for Mother Lanka authored by the UPFA
to develope the country is seeking to place obstacles in the path as a
way to topple the government for quite some time.
It has resorted to pick holes where non exist. It has brazenly told
the government not to play politics with fuel prices but use a pricing
formula that will reflect global realities.
The UNP that hung onto the tail of the West-European countries find
that it has missed the bus, while the government of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa by maintaining friendly relations with the Middle-East and
Asian countries finds that he gets monetary concessions on petroleum
purchases, which he passes on to the motorists who have proliferated
consequent to rise in the economy. That is anathema to the political
Seeing the giant steps the economy is taking the opposition leader
has threatened the IMF that is confidently financing the Sri Lankan
government, that when his party comes to power it would desist
repayment, little realizing that the IMF has its eyes and ears open and
knows where to direct its money. He also seek to intervene in the
fishing dispute with the Indian government while the Fisheries Minister
is negotiating for an amicable settlement. He also opposes the pension
plan for the private sector, which the UNP envisaged without leaving it
to the parties concerned to amicably settle any contentious issues and
avoid bad blood.
The President has invited him to join hands to settle the problems
facing the minorities who are anxiously watching for a solution to the
30 year dispute but he has not responded while his party is
The JVP believes that power will come if they follow the plan of
Rohana Wijeweera, who annihilated leaders hoping to sit in their chairs.
The overdue development, which was held up by the colonialists is
being rectified, though the dull wits in the opposition does not see the
need to join hands to develop the Motherland.
I L P Samarasinghe
No condominium management corporations have been formed in any one of
the government housing schemes and gazetted. Where some kind of
management body was formed in any blocks of flats, they are not
functioning as at present and never functioned as they should. I
challenge the Condominium Management Authority to prove otherwise.
In that situation the housing authorities have singled out the
Bambalapitiya Flats to get the flat owners to form management
corporations, once again, but without success especially because of the
existence of the problem of unauthorized constructions and land
encroachments and attendant issues. It is looked upon as a subtle move
to help unauthorized constructors and land encroachers.
Unauthorized constructions and land encroachments have been resorted
to by certain residents as the housing authorities adopted a deaf and
blind attitude towards the issue and with some officials perhaps even
being supportive of unauthorized constructions and land encroachments.
Complaints to the housing authorities have been of no avail as a result
illegal constructions and land encroachments by the ground floor
Why the housing authorities failed to take prompt action against
unauthorized constructions and land encroachments has to be viewed with
Certain unauthorized constructors and land encroachers are now bent
on being supportive of forming management corporations for the purpose
of manipulating to hold on to their unauthorized constructions and land
encroachments. The housing authorities are on the other hand bent on
passing the problem created by them to the law abiding residents.
Once Management Corporations are formed and gazetted, in terms of the
provisions in the Act, it will be the Management Corporations that will
have to act against unauthorized constructions and land encroachments
and spend for Court cases, in which case the house owners have to meet
the expenditure for legal action against the law breakers in the housing
The house owners will not be inclined to spend their personal money
on court cases against others living together in the same housing
scheme. Hence no cases will be filed with the result that those who
broke the law will continue to hold on to their ill-gotten property. The
law abiding residents will then be the losers. What the housing
authorities failed to do should not be burdened on the law abiding house
owners. The housing authorities should clear the mess they are
There are other issues such as the take over of the Water Tower by
the National Water Services and Drainage Board, which agreed to take
over as the residents pay their water bills direct to the NWS&DB, but
not taken over still and the handing over the internal roadways to the
Colombo Municipal Council to which the residents pay rates and taxes,
which is still pending.
Upali S Jayasekera