Ding-dong battle over post-internship vacancies list

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Director (Medical Services) of the Health Ministry yesterday struck back at the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), saying that it was the latter which had interfered with the post internship vacancies list released recently.

The GMOA, however, continues to stand by its assertion that the list has been changed by the Director (Medical Services) and the Public Relations Secretary of the Health Minister.

In a letter to Secretary of the Health Ministry Anura Jayawickrema, Director (Medical Services) Dr. Priyantha Atapattu has said neither Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne nor any secretary of changed the vacancies list.

He has maintained that the ministry prepared the vacancies list on the information given by hospital directors, regional health service directors and the representatives of the GMOA.

The GMOA on Tuesday threatened trade union action against the replacement of the original list of post internship appointments prepared with the participation of all stakeholders.

The doctors’ union alleged that the original list had been replaced with a new list prepared by the Director (Medical Services) and a Public Relations Officer of the Health Minister. According to the new list some of the peripheral hospitals would not get doctors at all, the GMOA said.

Dr. Atapattu said there had been no political interference in the preparation of the post intern vacancies list. "We prepared the list according to the information received from hospital directors and regional health service directors at a meeting of the heads of health institutions on March 24 and it was scheduled to be released on March 28, but the GMOA wanted to delay it," he said.

GMOA Secretary Dr Nalinda Herath, contacted for comment, said they had the original list prepared with the agreement of all stakeholders.

"It is different from the list which was released to the Ministry website," he said.

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