GMOA takes on Matara General Hospital head

Directress says she is being targeted as she refused to approve doctors’ illegal OT claims

by Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday accused the Matara General Hospital Director, Dr. Ms Samanthi Samarakoon of running an inefficient administration.

GMOA General Secretary, Dr. Chandika Epitakduwa said the GMOA would give her time to get her act together but if she failed to do so, the GMOA Matara Branch union would launch trade union action against her. Speaking to the media at the GMOA head office, he alleged that due to many shortcomings at the Matara Hospital and maladministration, the Kamburugamuwa ETU hospital, which had been attached to the Matara hospital, was not functioning properly. Although an ICU Unit had been set up, no facilities were provided and not even oxygen cylinders were available there.

Many doctors were asking the administration to set up a separate orthopedic surgical unit, but that request had fallen on deaf ears. As a result the patients in need of orthopedic care had to be treated in other surgical wards. Comments, views and suggestions, put forward by the other doctors, were ignored by the present director, the GMOA General Secretary said.

When contacted Matara hospital Director Dr. Ms Samarakoon dismissed the allegations leveled against her by the GMOA as baseless and malicious. The GMOA was against her because she had refused to approve the overtime payment for 24 doctors who claimed it without reporting for duty. "That is the crux of the problem. Some doctors want me to approve illegal overtime payments. So I do not approve. This is the reason the GMOA is against me," Dr. Samarakoon said.

She said that he had never done anything wrong or illegal and therefore she would not give in to pressure from any quarter.

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