Docs threaten to leave SLMC if it is hijacked by Health Minister

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday warned that its members would pull out of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) if the government forced the Council to register medical graduates of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) as well.

 Addressing the media in Colombo, GMOA Assistant Secretary, Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said the union was seriously considering that move.

Dr Zoysa said that as there was a possibility of the government forcing the SLMC to register medical graduates from SAITM through legal means, the GMOA felt that it did not want to be members of an institution which was also registering medical graduates from an institution which had not even received its approval.

GMOA Media Committee Member, Dr Prasad Kolombage urged the Health Minister to inform the media and the public why there was a delay in gazetting the Minimum Standards of Medical Education (MSME).

The Minister had pledged to gazette the said standards within two weeks which was by last Monday (14). However, it appears that he had forgotten his promise. He alleged that no attempt had even been made on the part of the Health Ministry to gazette the MSME.

Dr Kolombage said there were also serious questions regarding the agreement which was signed handing over the Rs. 3.5 billion Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) to the government. He said that although it had been a letter of intent which had been signed on August 01, 217 and not a proper MoU signed by the three parties involved (the Health Ministry, NFTH and BOC) with Cabinet approval, the Health Ministry had commenced allocating large sums of money for its development. He alleged that those amounts were only second to those which Sri Lanka had been paid by leasing the Hambantota Port to the Chinese.    

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