Registration of foreign docs suspended


By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Around 26 patients who had undergone cardiac surgery performed by Indian surgeons, at some private hospitals, are now being treated by local doctors at the Colombo National Hospital, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) alleges.

General Secretary of the GMOA Dr Chandika Epitakaduwa alleged that Indian qualified doctors get registered in the Sri Lanka Medial Council as medical officers and later change the title to consultants or surgeons. The Secretary to the Health Ministry has suspended the registration procedure of foreign doctors until further notice.

Dr Epitakaduwa said that the lives of patients are at stake because those doctors do not have the required qualifications to perform surgeries, practise paediatrics, dermatology and ophthalmology. The GMOA held a discussion on that issue with the Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Ravindra Ruberu last week and requested him to temporarily suspend the registration process of foreign doctors, the Health Ministry said.

A Ministry spokesman told The Island that the GMOA would strongly object to the registration process of foreign doctors by SLMC because the GMOA had been made a scapegoat.

In other words several patients who underwent cardiac surgery at private hospitals were getting admitted to the Colombo National Hospital as they had developed post-surgery complications.

The spokesman said that if patients died due to medical negligence of foreign doctors, the relatives of patients and the government blame Sri Lankan doctors.

Dr. Ruberu appointed a committee to check all registered foreign doctors to see whether they had proper qualifications to perform surgeries and practice medicine. The committee would have to submit a complete report to the Secretary within two weeks.

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