Opening OPDs 24/7: Docs lay down conditions

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The GMOA says that it could run OPD services 24 hours a day if the government removed the ceiling on extra-duty allowances for its members and provided the required facilities.

The GMOA insists the State health sector needs a major overhaul to take on the task of maintaining uninterrupted OPD services.

The GMOA was responding to President Mahinda Rajapaksa directive to Health Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu to maintain OPD services 24 hours a day.

GMOA spokesman Dr. Mahesh Epa yesterday told The Island that the proposal couldn’t be implemented unless immediate action was taken to upgrade facilities. Dr. Epa emphasized that the government would have to remove extra duty allowances for doctors. Responding to a query, Dr. Epa said that OPD services were maintained with difficulties even during the day.

The GMOA official said that there was a dearth of pharmacists, nurses, x-ray technicians, facilities for laboratory investigations and labourers.

Dr. Epa alleged that the move to extend OPD services could be a ploy to cause a rift among members of the GMOA in the wake of calls for a salary increase for doctors.

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