GMOA says its a vote buying exercise
Rajitha’s wife releases docs, nurses for mobile clinics in Kalutara

The All Ceylon Government Medical Officers’ Association accused the Government of using staff of the National Hospital to obtain votes by hosting mobile clinics in the Kalutara District. President of the ACGMOA, Dr. Gishantha Dassanayake said yesterday (19), that these clinics were being carried out in the Kalutara District where Minister of Engineering and Construction, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne was contesting on the UPFA ticket.

He said that the Health Ministry had sent an official letter to the NHSL requesting participation of doctors and nurses in these mobile clinics organised in the Kalutara District. They are released as the Deputy Directress of NHSL is Dr. Senaratne’s wife.

The Kalutara Nagoda Hospital is the closest and is capable of conducting similar clinics for the Kalutara population. "But what happens is that the doctors are brought in from the NHSL, the Minister addresses the gathering before commencing the clinic," Dr. Dassanayake said. This is just a ploy aided by the Health Ministry to help Dr. Senaratne get votes, he accused.

There have been three such clinics to date - the first was conducted on two consecutive days. They commenced as soon as elections were announced. "It’s well and good if the idea behind it is to treat the poor. But Kalutara does not have an epidemic situation, nor has there been a disaster where people require medical attention and most of all Kalutara has a hospital of its own which could always be called upon to carry out these clinics, he said.

The spokesman for the Health Ministry however said that the clinics were a part of the ‘Out Reach Programme,’ initiated by the NHSL in May last year. The clinics are conducted according to public demand. It allows them to get specialist attention whereas it would be a hassle if they were to go through the NHSL OPD. The NHSL in collaboration with the Ministry’s ‘Suwa Udana,’ programme has conducted mobile clinics at the Kolonnawa garment factory, in Panadura, at the Transport Ministry and several other places. The Association’s claims were baseless, he said.

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