PM’s warning: Docs defend their right to express views


By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday, countering Premier, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s accusations against it on Thursday (18), warned that it would stand against the victimisation of its members or any wrongful action detrimental to the free health service. 

GMOA Secretary, Dr Nalinda Herath, responding to Premier Wickremesinghe, who accused the 15,000-member doctors’ union of attempting to sabotage government’s development programmes aimed at creating jobs and increasing people’s income, said that his union hoped the Premier would realise that a professional organisation had a right to express its opinion.

The Prime Minister’s hostile attitude had disappointed the GMOA members, Dr. Herath said.

 The GMOA is an apolitical, professional trade union working towards the welfare and development of doctors. "It is always prepared to assist in any matter that concerns public health," Dr. Herath said, adding that all GMOA decision were taken democratically with consensus of its 106 branch unions.

 However, some of those decisions might look anti- government. "When we cooperate with the government on some issues the Opposition labels the union as being pro-government," Dr. Herath said. 

 The Prime Minister during a media briefing on Thursday warned the GMOA and a section of the media that he would reveal their political games on behalf of former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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