Medical Administrators protest against moves to re-employ retired officers

At a time 70 senior and 200 deputy positions remain unfilled

bu Suresh Perera

The College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka last week voiced concern over attempts to re-employ two retired medical administrators to head key positions in the government health sector.

There is an ongoing bid to recall these two officials, who headed key medical institutions at one time, through the intervention of the Cabinet. One of them is earmarked to be appointed Gampaha Regional Director of Health, a position held at present by a specialist in medical administration, officials said. "There is no reason why he should be replaced by a retiree".

At a time 70 senior and 200 deputy medical administrative positions continue to remain vacant for the past five years, it beats logic to re-absorb officials who are past their retirement age, they said.

Why is priority being accorded to retired medical administrators when there are scores of qualified doctors who have been kicking their heels for five years awaiting a suitable appointment?, they queried.

The GMOA (Government Medical Officers’ Association) has also expressed displeasure over moves to re-employ retired medical administrators at the expense of serving doctors, the officials asserted.

The stagnation has also resulted in junior medical administrators being denied the opportunity to move up the ladder, despite having the requisite qualifications to hold responsible positions, which they are entitled to, they said.

"It’s no wonder that doctors are seeking jobs overseas as they are disgusted with the injustice done to them", they noted. "Is this the compassionate rule (Yahapalanaya) the new government promised?"

The officials also complained that the acting director in charge of tertiary care is held by an unqualified junior officer at the Ministry of Health for the past two years.

Many complaints have been made to the Health Ministry about the situation.  Apart from being inexperienced, the officer concerned has also been accused of insubordination by not respecting senior officers and not cooperating with superiors, they claimed.

Powerful organizations such as the GMOA, the College of Medical Administrators and the College of Community Physicians have protest to the Ministry over the prevailing situation, but no action has been initiated, they said.

The DGHS  has attempted to rectify the situation by appointing a senior officer in an acting capacity until a permanent appointment is made, but a senior Health Ministry panjandrum has reportedly blocked the move due to what these officials described as "favoritism".

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...