GMOA locks horns with Health Minister over another controversial move


by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Medical officers' Association (GMOA) yesterday locked horns once more with Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne over a Cabinet memo to recruit doctors for the 'Deputy Medical Administrative Grade.'

GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen de Zoysa appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena and the Cabinet to refer the paper submitted by Minister Senaratne back to the Health Ministry as the issue had not been discussed with stakeholders. Minister’s arbitrary decision had caused concern in the government health service doctors said.

Dr. Zoysa said the GMOA had received several complaints that the particular Cabinet paper reflected the views of the Minister's wife, Dr. Sujatha Senaratne, who had been an Additional Secretary to the Health Ministry. Those ideas had been rejected by the Supreme court at the time, the GMOA official said.

The newly appointed GMOA Secretary said that doctors' transfers were carried out with the concurrence of all relevant parties which included the Public Service Commission (PSC), Ministries of Health and Public Administration and the GMOA. In case of the Deputy Medical Administrative Grade, the Colleges of Community Physicians, and Medical Administrators were also involved.

Newly Appointed GMOA Editor, Dr Nalinda Herath said Medical Superintendents of Base Hospitals, Deputy Directors of General Hospitals came under Deputy Medical Administrative Grade. Those recruited for that Grade required three years of service to apply for the Senior Administrative Grade positions.

Dr. Herath said Community Physicians and Medical Administrators were eligible to apply for the Deputy Medical Administrative grade. However, the Supreme Court had rejected a petition filed by Medical Administrators stating that Community Physicians should not be considered eligible to apply for Deputy Medical Administrative Grade position.

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