PHI-GMOA tussle: Epidemiologist refutes allegations against him

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Regional Epidemiologist of the North Central Province, Dr. R. Sanganayake, yesterday refuted allegations leveled against him by the General Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL).

Dr. Sanganayake referring to the report in The Island on Saturday (24) on the ‘Docs threaten strike over fight with PHI union secretary’ said that it had taken PHIUSL General Secretary, Senarath Bandara about two years to accuse him of having pilfered funds which were meant to be paid to PHIs for a dengue control programme carried out in several areas of the North Central Province in 2011. He had ample time to bring it to the notice of the regional health officials and the Health Ministry officials instead of complaining to the Health Minister, the doctor said.

Dr. Sanganayake said it was a ploy to distract public attention from the charges against Bandara, who had been pulled up not only for insubordination towards a newly appointed MOH but also for applying 121 days of medical leave.

The Regional Epidemiologists said that he had tried to address the issue of leave which had been taken during review meetings held with PHIs.

Dr. Sanganayake said that the issue had finally reached the level of the Health Ministry. Investigations had been initiated against him (Dr. Sanganayake) and the PHIUSL General Secretary. He alleged however that there had been an attempt to hush up investigations at the Health Ministry level.

Dr. Sanganayake said he had finally requested the Regional Health Director to complete the investigation against him and help clear his name. The preliminary investigation against the PHI had been concluded and he had been found guilty of the charges brought against him.

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