Consultant psychiatrist claims he was not part of political plot

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Mental Health Institute (MHI), Angoda, Dr. Jayan Mendis, responding to allegations levelled against him by Harsha Bandara Thilakasiri, a former employee of the Minister of Megalopolis, said the patient had been admitted to his institution due to an overdose of an anti-depressant drug.

Dr. Mendis denied that he had followed orders of a politician Thilakasiri had been dealing with. He said he could not reveal more about the patient for professional and ethical reasons.

Thillakasiri was admitted to hospital late last year.

Dr. Mendis said he had treated Thilakasiri previously in a private hospital and there had been a lapse in follow-up sessions as the patient had not visited him for treatment. "My only duty was to treat him for the drug overdose and suicidal tendencies. I treated him with the most appropriate treatment at the time, which was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) having taken the patient’s consent under the Mental Health Act.

Dr. Mendis said that after the Thilakasiri had attended followup sessions together with his family members. He said, however, that parallel to those issues the patient had also had to cope with his differences with the politician concerned.

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Central Committee Member, Lawyer Tudor Perera dismissed Thilakasiri’s claims as baseless. He lashed out at the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya for disseminating false information.

Secretary Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), Dr Naveen de Zoysa said that if the patient had any issues regarding the treatment he had received or any complaints against the hospital or the consultant doctor concerned, he could lodge a complaint with the Health Ministry and the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The Ministry would have to initiate a transparent and independent investigation into the alleged incident, in such an eventuality.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said it had not received any complaint regarding the issue.

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