Mahiyangana hospital specialists play truant

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

 Some specialists, attached to the Mahiyangana Base Hospital, are alleged to be neglecting their assigned duties. Although they are required to report for duty from Monday to Friday and on Saturday till 12.00 noon, some only report for duty from Tuesday to Thursday.

According to former Hospital Superintendent Dr. A. Prathasinghe, some specialists were more interested in their channel practice than the provision of a better healthcare service at the Hospital. Many OPD and in-patients were affected as a result of the malpractice, a doctor on condition of anonymity said.

He pointed out that some specialists were visiting the Mahiyangana Base Hospital from Kandy and Colombo to see the patients, but though they were instructed to report for duty from Monday to Saturday 12.00 noon, they could not be found in the hospital on Mondays and Fridays. Even during the working hours they were missing.

The doctor added that the former Hospital Superintendent Dr. A. Prathpasinghe had warned the specialists not to get absent while they were on duty. The specialists had denounced the advice and were trying their best to remove him from the hospital.

When contacted, Dr. A. Prathapasinghe said that as the Medical Superintendent he had asked the specialist not to do private practice during the normal working hours, but they carry on regardless. He had also reported the issue to the Deputy Director General (medical services) Dr. Ananda Gunasekara.

"Let me expose a huge corruption. A Consultant Eye Surgeon was appointed to this hospital in 2011 March. I was appointed as MS in 2012 June. I found a big racket involving the surgeon. He was drawing two salaries one from the Line Ministry and one from the Hospital Accountant. I have reported the matter to the higher authorities," Dr. Prathapasinghe said.

He said that some specialists were not in good terms with him as he was after them for dereliction of duty. Doing channel practice during the working hours was illegal and stringent measure should be taken against the defaulters.

When contacted, DDG Dr. Ananda Gunasekara said that he had not received any complaints regarding the missing doctors during working hours. But he had received a complaint against the former Medical Superintendent Dr. A. Prathapasinghe. "I have officially called him to the Ministry to work. Because, though he has passed MSc in Hospital Administration, he is incapable for doing better administration over there. I have thought of giving intensive training in the hospital administration to him," Dr. Gunasekara said.

The acting Hospital Director of the Maiyanganaya Base Hospital Dr. K. Anandagoda, an ENT specialist, when contacted said that no specialist had been missing during working hours. Some doctors had to go to the shop or market to buy provisions occasionally. But, the specialist were not deliberately neglecting their duties, he said.

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