GMOA factions exchange fire

Alleged financial frauds at docs’ union

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Former Government Medical Officers Associaton (GMOA) office bearer Prof. Ranjanee Gamage accuses the GMOA of having misappropriated Rs. 20 million and spent funds on various programmes without any transparency or accountability. The GMOA employs only 18 persons at its headoffice but they have been paid Rs. 5.8 million as emoluments per annum, she says.

Prof. Mrs. Gamage said that since she joined the GMOA a few years back, Dr. A. Padeniya, as a post intern, had been trying his best to divide the GMOA into two factions.

The financial irregularities were a matter of great concern for the GMOA’s 20,000 members, Dr. Gamage said. Embezzlement, manipulaton of transfers to the advantage of the union bigwigs and the abuse of power to oust members had led to the dissatisfaction of the GMOA members, she said.

Dr. Nirohana Premachandra, who unsuccessfully contested for the GMOA presidency at the last election, contacted for comment, said there had been a massive fraud at the GMOA amounting to millions of rupees.

The GMOA had issued a statement claiming that the GMOA Executive Committee members’ personal expenses were expenditure on law suits including the one against the Society of Registered and Assistant Medical Officers (SRAMO). The GMOA had withdrawn money from a bank in spite of an interim injunction, he said.

Former GMOA General Secretary and spokesman for the current GMOA Trustees Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa dismissed the allegations levelled against the GMOA as base;ess. A group affiliated to some political parties and sub-standard private medical schools were bent on attacking the GMOA with a view to tarnishing its reputation, he stressed. The GMOA was well aware of their ulterior motives and conspiracies, he said, claiming that he had sent audited accounts and the balance sheet confirmed by P. E. Mathew Chartered Accountants for 2013-2014 to all media organisations. The financial statements were transparent, he inisted. Those who had lost elections had accused the winner of committing a financial fraud amounting to Rs. 20 million. the GMOA had 20,000 members it had to spend Rs. 5.00 each to send letters to its members. Legal action instituted against that particular group had also cost a great deal of money collected from the members, he said.

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