Striking doctors available for private practice

Dayasiri Jayasekara

Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara brought to the attention of Parliament that the doctors who led the islandwide strike yesterday, had been continuing private practice at leading private hospitals.

The minister said GMOA President Dr. Anurudda Padeniya, who led the islandwide Trade Union action against the SAITM, had been available for private channelling yesterday.

“Many innocent patients were inconvenienced due to the strike and the OPDs have been closed.

However, the same doctors who led the strike were available to obtain treatment after paying Rs. 1,925 as channelling fees. How ethical is this? “MP Ranjan Ramanayake has got an appointment from Dr.Padeniya at 4 p.m. at the Navaloka hospital. I have the documents to prove it,” he said.

Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake raising objections at that time questioned from the chair under which Standing Order that the minister was allowed to make such a statement. “That statement should have come from either the subject minister or the Prime Minister. Anybody and everybody cannot be allowed to speak their minds out in the House in this manner,” he said.

Intervening at this point, Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella said the matter raised by Jayasekara was of national importance. Kiriella also said the strike was completely unsuccessful.

NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa claiming that the Government was making baseless allegations against the doctors involved in the strike asked the Government to prove the charge with evidence.

MP Dissanayake pointed out that doctors engaging in private practice while leaving the patients coming to state hospitals in the lurch is no difference to lecturers at the Sri Jayewardenapura Medical Faculty teaching at the SAITM while leaving the students in state universities in the lurch.

(Source: Daily News – By Sandasen Marasinghe and Disna Mudalige)