AG questions J’ pura hospital payments
Over Rs. 171 million paid to 14 surgeons
COPE to summon hospital board

By Lal Gunasekera

The Auditor General has, in a query dated Aug. 19, 2010, questioned the payment of Rs. 171,320,168 to 14 consultant surgeons at the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital for the year 2009.

A breakdown of the figures is as follows:

Dr. A. B. S. A. Perera (Rs. 18,362,215),

Dr. U. N. H. C. H. Perera (Rs. 14,656,819),

Dr. D. H. N. Wariyapola (Rs. 16,796,567),

Dr. D. L. Pieris (Rs. 13,272,611),

Dr. S. M. G. Karunaratne (Rs. 7,995,950),

Dr. C. N. Karunaratne (Rs. 7,706,846),

Dr. N. E. S. Amarasekera (Rs. 7,018,444),

Dr. V. K. P. Indraratne (Rs. 6,671,028),

Dr. M. S. Wijeratne (Rs. 5,896,017),

Dr. J. S. K. Rajasinghe (Rs. 4,722,180),

Dr. R. L. Satharasinghe (Rs. 4,716,963),

Dr. D. A. Dissanayake (Rs. 3,816,266),

Dr. D. H. Samarakoon (Rs. 3,741,329) and Dr. G. C. Gunatilleke (Rs. 3,725,703).

The AG has also sought clarification from the management of the Hospital regarding the high charges on operations performed with hospital equipment in February this year (2010), while hospital earnings were very low ranging between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 8,500 per operation. In one case, a surgeon had charged Rs. 242,300, but not a single cent had gone to the hospital as the patient was the wife of an employee there.

Also queried are amounts paid to consultant surgeons for operations performed on patients in paying wards (3, 4, and 5 during working hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in January and February this year and differences in fees charged by certain surgeons for identical operations.

The Auditor General’s Department also says there is no standardisation of fees charged by consultants in spite of a recommendation by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in May last year (2009).

Minister of Prison Reforms D. E. W. Gunasekera, who heads the Committee on Public Enterprises, (COPE) in Parliament told The Island that he would summon the Board of Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital before the COPE very soon.

Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne of the GMOA asked for comment said that the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital was a semi-government institution and the doctors working there were not eligible to join the GMOA. He said that the SJH was a white elephant and that the government was wasting money by issuing grants.

Chairman of the SJH Board of Management, N. W. E. Wijewantha was not available for comment, but a source said the letter from the AG’s Department in August had not been presented to the Sept. 15 board meeting.

Under the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital Act 54 of 1983 and 154, the Board is fully responsible for all financial transactions.

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