President Ranil Wickremesinghe today directed the formulation of a new Medical Act within six months with the aim of addressing shortcomings in the present Medical Ordinance and thereby providing better healthcare.

A high-level Committee, consisting of the Secretary of Health, Legal Draughtsman, and President of the SLMC, was assigned to examine the provisions of the Medical Ordinance and formulate a new Medical Act with appropriate provisions.

To address immediate medical needs, an additional allocation of Rs. 30 billion was approved for medical supplies under the Provision to the Ministry of Health, sufficient for the next three months. On President Wickremesinghe’s directions, the NMRA will expedite the approval process for FDA-approved drugs and reference drugs from other countries that collaborate with the Health Ministry. The NMRA sought to obtain Cabinet approval to make the necessary amendments to the NMRA Act that will ensure faster access to critical medications. The meeting resolved the issue of a staff shortage at the NMRA. The President called for a detailed report to strengthen the role of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) in regulating medical products and ensuring public health safety.