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Pakistan’s economic crisis pushes healthcare at verge of disaster causing shortage of life-saving drugs

KARACHI: The economic crisis is likely to hit Pakistan’s healthcare system as pharma giants are not having access to medical supplies, painting a gloomy picture of a probable humanitarian disaster amid problematic procedures for the import of medical equipment.

The haphazard situation stemmed from the current ongoing economic crisis as the pharmaceutical industry is struggling to get supplies causing a shortage of life-saving drugs and basic instruments needed for surgical procedures.

The cash-strapped country is facing the worst economic crisis in recent years as banks are not entertaining matters related to new Letters of Credit (LCs) in wake of a severe shortage of greenback.

With the terrible situation, the drug firms are facing hard times to fulfill the demand for life-saving drugs, which are needed by hundreds of thousands, while people are waiting for months to get under the knife in wake of a shortage of medical supplies.

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The dilemma of imported medicines is one problematic thing, while the medicine companies are struggling to get raw materials from abroad for locally made medicines, pushing the country’s healthcare system at the verge of disaster.

Some reports of major publications said medical equipment and anesthetics disappeared from the market while surgeons at country’s top medical facilities are giving months time to patients for surgeries.

The horrific reports also claimed that many vaccines and other crucial products are deserted from the market, which are used for the treatment of severe diseases like heart and cancer treatments.

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Basic healthcare medical equipments like syringes, stents, cannula, and even gloves run low in top hospitals including PKLI, and several cardiology and cancer treatment centers.

Earlier, the Healthcare Devices Association of Pakistan revealed that the list of medical and surgical devices and equipment is huge while almost 90 percent of medical equipment and medical devices are imported in crisis-hit Pakistan from abroad.

Lately, thousands of shipping containers with basic food items, raw materials, and medical equipment remained stuck at the port of country’s financial capital.

Some pharma giants told publications about their plights as they already paid payments while materials remain stuck at ports and commercial banks are reluctant to facilitate.

Amid the terrifying situation, the pharmaceutical industry informed Shahbaz Sharif led government about ban imposed on their imports in wake of shrinking reserves however the matter is yet to be resolved while the economic crisis deepens.

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