GMOA accuses Health bigwig of involvement in nurses’ TU action

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday alleged that Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva, who was also the Western Province Health Director, had been trying to secure the Health Secretary’s post with the help of the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) President Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda thera.

Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva was also behind the recent nurses’ refusal to assist the doctors, the GMOA alleged.

The third allegation against Dr. de Silva was that though he had been transferred to the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) as Chairman, he was trying his best to hold the two incumbent posts while aspiring to become the Health Secretary. These allegations were made by GMOA Committee member dr. Navin de Soyza at a media conference held at the GMOA head office yesterday.

Dr. de Soyza said that Dr. de Silva had been trying to dominate the Health Ministry since he assumed duties as an Additional Secretary by using his powers to undermine his superiors’ authority.

Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva, contacted for comment, laughed off the allegations levelled by the GMOA. He said that he had been duly appointed Additional Secretary by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Claiming that he was qualified to be the Health Secretary, Dr. de Silva said he had no hand in the nurses’ trade union action.

Like everyone else, he had also an ambition to secure higher posts. He had passed MBBS with honours and also obtained his MD. In addition he had passed Medical Administration examinations with flying colours. "The GMOA harbours a grudge against me. I think it is professional jealousy. If the President asked me to assume duties as the Health Secretary, I would gladly accept that post. If I am appointed as the Health Secretary, I will make the Health Ministry the top foreign exchange earner in Sri Lanka. I will also make every effort to export doctors, nurses and paramedics who are on par with the best in the world. I will also commence health tourism which will bring in much needed foreign exchange", Dr de Silva said.

PSUNU Vice President D. Boralessa when contacted dismissed the GMOA’s allegation. The President of the PSUNU was not interested in taking officials to the President for promotions. The GMOA should not make such irresponsible statement, he added.

The PSUNU was a strong, responsible trade union capable of launching trade union battles on its own and therefor there was no need for it to seek any outsider’s help. He dismissed the allegation as a figment of the GMOA’s imagination.

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