The Surgical Gauze Manufacturers Association (SGMA) on Thursday alleged that the government was importing surgical gauze although Sri Lankan manufacturers were capable of meeting the entire demand.
Sri Lankan manufacturers had been supplying gauze to the medical supplies division of the Health Ministry for 52 years, the SGMA said.
The Health Ministry now claimed that there was a shortage of gauze and it had to be imported, the SGMA said.According to the SGMA, about 100,000 people depend on the industry.
Sri Lankan manufacturers can provide one metre of gauze at Rs 74.96 while imported gauze will cost Rs 102.96 a metre.Former JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that the Ministry of Health had three million metres of gauze in its stores.
“There is no shortage of gauze. Government hospitals need about six million metres of gauze per quarter,” he said.