Sri Lanka using ten times more free ‘Donald Trump’ stents

ECONOMYNEXT – The use of stents on heart patients had gone up nearly 10 times after tax payer financed state hospitals started giving them at no cost to patients, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

"At the cardiology unit earlier only about 50 to 60 stents were used each month," Senaratne told reporters Monday.

"Now about 450 to 500 are being placed."

A stent is a medical device that is inserted into a human vessel or duct to keep it open. In the case of heart patients with blocked arteries, the tubular metal structure is inserted and expanded with the help of balloon catheter, clearing an obstruction and is left in place.

The cost of such a procedure could be as much as 1.3 million, but it is done free to patients, now Senaratne said. Earlier patients were asked by doctors to buy stents from outside, but now they are given free he said.

"This is the same type of stent that Donald Trump would have been used in New York," Senaratne said.

"But remember all this is free now."

Taking a swipe at the media, he said reporters should go and meet doctors to see what a transformation had taken place. Drug prices have been also slashed, he said.

"Even the father of the reporter who writes against me every morning in the newspaper will get this benefit," he said.

Media reports said earlier that the National Medical Regulatory Authority (NMRA), a price control and approval authority wanted to cut the market price of a bare metal stent from 75,000 rupees to 51,000 and a drug eluting stent (a stent that keeps releasing a drug to prevent clots forming after placement) from 300,000 t0 195,000 rupees. (Colombo/Jan09/2018)





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