Consultants clash over circular

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

A conflict between two groups of medical consultants––those serving at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) and others posted to Peripheral Clinics––has arisen as some of them want to remain in the state service until the age of 65 without the specialist allowance of Rs. 20,000, a Consultant in a Peripheral Clinic Dr H. Nanayakkara alleged.

Consultant Paediatrician Dr Rasika Gunapala of NHSL however said that as far as he was concerned the consultants attached to NHSL never wanted to have their services extended up to 65 years of age. It was a baseless chaim.

Dr. Gunapala said that during the previous regime the then Finance Secretary Dr P. B. Jayasundara had issued a circular inadvertently to the effect that there should be intermediate consultants. The consultants in NHSL had not refused the specialist allowance of Rs.20,000 either. The circular should be changed as Intermediate Cadre of Medical officers, Dr. Gunapala said.

GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Navin de Soysa, contacted for comment, said that whenever there was an issue pertaining to the doctors such as Specialist Grade medical officers (Consultants), Administrative Grade Medical officers and Grade Medical officers, the GMOA was supposed to intervene and resolve the issue as early as possible. Some Consultants at NHSL wanted their services extended until 65 years of age while refusing the specialist allowance of Rs. 20,000, he said.

Dr. Soysa said the GMOA did not want to accept the circular issued by the then Finance Secretary Dr. Jayasundara as it was wrong. It mentioned ‘intermediate consultants’, which was not acceptable.

The GMOA had sent a letter to the present Finance Secretary Dr H. Samaratunge to correct the circular as ‘ Intermediate Cadre of Medical Officers’ instead of Intermediate Consultants, Dr. Soysa said.

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