Haphazard issuance of licences led to doctor’s death – GMOA

Those responsible say licensing of beauty clinic done properly


by Don Asoka Wijewardena   

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya yesterday blamed the Private Health Services Regulatory Council (PHSRC) for issuing a licence to the Beauty Clinic at Visakha Road Bambalapitiya hastily. That had caused the untimely death of Dr. Mrs. P. A. Priyangi, he said.

Addressing the media Dr. Padeniya said that the GMOA had been campaigning for ridding the country of quacks but no tangible action had been taken by the authorities concerned so far.

To perform any kind of operation there should be a consultant anaesthetist, required medical staff and a well-equipped theatre, but at the particular clinic, none of those requisites had been at hand, he said.

Dr. Padeniya said that the then Provincial Health Director Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva had registered Dr. Nimal Gamage to practise medicine at that particular clinic in 2013. The GMOA had, on a number of occasions, asked the Health Ministry to establish a consultants’ registry, amend the provisions of the Private Medical Regulatory Council and formulate a mechanism to eliminate around 40,000 medical quacks who were practising medicine illegally, he said.

The GMOA President said that the death of Dr. Mrs. Priyangi was due to medical negligence. There could be some other private medical clinics responsible for such incidents. The GMOA would request the Health Ministry to conduct a proper investigation into the doctor’s death and take action against the culprits.

The then Provincial Health Director and Director Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva, contacted for comment, dismissed the allegations leveled against him. The registration certificate of that particular medical clinic signed by Western Province Health Director Dr. Deepthi Perera, Private Medical Institution Regulatory Council Director Dr. Mrs. Kanthi Arriyaratne and Director General of Health Services. When any private medical institution met the guidelines issued by the Private Medical Institution Regulatory Council the institution could be granted registration.

The Private Medical Institution Regulatory Council Director Dr. Mrs. Kanthi Ariyaratne said that the particular private medical clinic at Bambalapitiya had been first registered in 2012. Since then it had been renewing the registration annually. The PMIRC had set some guidelines for private medical institutions. The doctor of this particular clinic was registered under the Sri Lanka Medical Council.

She said that in accordance with the guidelines issued by the PMIRC the particular clinic had complied with its requirements. The issuance of the registration certificate had been legally done. Medical negligence was something else. "When a private medical clinic or institution gets registered at the PMIRC, there is no particular registration for plastic surgery. Once any private medical clinic or institute meets the guidelines set by the PMIRC, the registration certificate is issued," Dr. Mrs. Ariyaratne maintained.

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