The president of Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya while leading an Island wide Govt doctors strike that affected the treatment of patients in the Island has been minting money by engaging in channelled practice seeing patients at a private hospital while the strike was on. While numerous people from the poorer sections of society were unable to get proper medical treatment due to the strike by Govt hospital doctors the head of the GMOA has been making money through private practice . He has granted appointments to see at least six patients at Nawaloka hospital on Friday May 5th when his union GMOA was engaged in an island wide strike demanding the closure of private medical college.
Deputy Minister of Social Empowering and Welfare Ranjan Ramanayake on Thursday (May 04) has made an appointment to see Dr. Padeniya, a pediatric neurologist, at the Nawaloka Hospital in Colombo. The appointment was given to see Dr. Padeniya on Friday, May 05 at 4:05 pm and the deputy minister was listed as the 6th patient. The minister, who obtained the appointment to demonstrate the duplicity of the GMOA, produced the receipt issued for his appointment in parliament. It listed Doctor Padeniya’s charge for a consultation as Rs. 1000.
Parliament was shown the receipt for an appointment Padeniya, a paediatric neurologist, had given a patient on the night of Thursday the 4th of May 2017 at a time when the trade union he leads had already announced the strike for 24 hours from 8.00 am on Friday.
Ranjan Ramanayake obtained the appointment to consult Padeniya just to expose the duplicity of the striking doctors who want a private medical college shut in the name of protecting free health care, but have no qualms in engaging in private practice while in state service.
The receipt issued for Padeniya’s appointment to see parliamentarian Ramanayake, his sixth patient for the day, was shown in parliament causing serious embarrassment to the Joint Opposition which supported the doctors’ trade union action.After the exposure in Parliament , Nawaloka private hospital telephoned Ramanayake to say that Padeniya had hurriedly cancelled his appointments at their channelling centre.
The GMOA staged a token strike again on Friday inconveniencing and risking the lives of thousands of poor patients who seek free health care at state hospitals.
The union demands the government to close the South Asian Institute of Medicine and Technology (SAITM), also known as private medical college in Malabe. The GMOA has threatened to launch an indefinite strike if the government did not meet their demand.
The doctors’ trade union action subjecting the poor segment of the country to suffering has drawn severe criticism and resentment from the general public at a time the government has pledged to take action to resolve the SAITM issue.
The Ramanayake exposure drew attention to a government decision which had allowed doctors in the state sector to carry on private practice, a privilege that is not granted to any other employees of the government. Not even to state sector teachers.
Friday’s strike and Padeniya’s action has drawn the government’s attention to the wisdom of allowing government doctors to engage in private medical practice while in state service, a senior minister said adding that a radical decision was expected soon.
(Compiled Fron Media Reports in Newspapers and Web Sites)