GMOA repeats ominous warning over CID harassment


BY Dilanthi Jayamanne

 The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday warned that it would launch a strike without prior notice if the government continued to use the CID to harass its members on the pretext of getting statements for an alleged error in a book published in 2012.

GMOA Spokesman Dr. Naveen Zoysa explained during a media briefing at the OPA Office that the ‘Establishment of Specialist Registry and Introduction of an Evaluation Procedure for Foreign Medical Specialists,’ had been published by the Association four years back.

Cardio- Thoracic surgeons working at the National Hospital had informed the GMOA of heart surgeries performed by under qualified Indian doctors at local Private Hospitals. The patients were transferred to the NHSL with complications following operations. Some of them were not even able to foot the bill owing to those complications.

The Indian doctors had made use of loopholes in the Medical Council Ordinance (MCO) and worked in private hospitals as specialists, the GMOA official said.

Dr. Zoysa said they had taken immediate steps to inform the Health Minister at the time, who is present President, Maithripala Sirisena. "We even showed him some video clips to prove our point."

The Minister had then ordered the Secretary to instruct the Director General Health Services (DGHS) to take the necessary steps to strengthen the laws in a bid to protect patients while the GMOA suggested that a Specialist Registry and an Evaluation Procedure be formulated which resulted in the publication, Dr. Zoysa said.

"This disturbed the private hospitals in Colombo. The Registration and evaluation procedure for foreign medical specialists is being examined for its legality at present," he said.

The GMOA was aware that a henchman of a powerful Minister, who was also formally a member of the union was behind all those machinations to intimidate its members, he alleged. The CID could peruse all the other publications of the GMOA to find printing mistakes if it liked but the union would not give in to coercive methods, Dr. Zoysa said.

Last Friday GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath was questioned by the CID which said the Union’s President too would be questioned regarding the alleged print error in the above mentioned publication.


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