Docs at Karapitiya drew Rs. 10.8 mn in O/T at time their unit was closed

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Doctors attached to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital Cardio-Thoracic Unit have claimed Rs.10.8 million as overtime pay, full holiday allowances and other allowances from February 2011 up to March 2012 even though, during that period, the unit remainedclosed.

The Cardio-Thoracic Unit was closed in February 2011 for renovations, but the doctors attached to it had collected a large amount money on the pretext of working in the unit, there.

The Auditor-General has called for explanation from the present Director of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital Dr. Shelton Perera.

The Health Ministry had also taken action to hold an inquiry over the case, a doctor said.

When contacted, Dr. Shelton Perera said that he assumed duties in March 2012. During the period from 2011 February up to 2012 March the acting director of the hospital Dr. Jayampath Senanayaka was in-charge of the hospital. As far as he was aware the cardio-thoracic unit had been closed for 14 months for renovation, during which the operating theatres were converted into modules.

He said it was the responsibility of any hospital director to redistribute the duties of the doctors whenever a department or a unit was closed. He had no idea what happened during the period of the closure of the unit. He had been made scapegoat. But as the Auditor-General called for explanation from him, he would have to study the files pertaining to those 14 months.

The Karapitiya Teaching Hospital Chief Accountant Ms. Pabasara Gangage, when contacted said that she also assumed duties in February/March 2012. It was a procedure of the hospital that the Accounts Department would never issue petty-cash or cheques without the recommendations of the relevant Consultant. Whenever the relevant Consultant approved the cheques or petty-cash vouchers the Accounts Department used to pay. She would have to study the files of accounts of the said months.

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