Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
10 Dec, 2020 | 8:23 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): The key responsibility of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) is to protect the people of this country, and the issue at hand at present is whether this responsibility will be handed over to an institution consisting of those who enter through a 65% majority, Prof. Colvin Gunarathne, Former Chairman of the SLMC raised concerns.
“There are 25 members at the SLMC with 16 of them being from the highly active level of trade unions. For example, doctors enter through a vote and those from the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will win through a majority. Around seven to eight are Deans who enter through the vote of Lecturers and Professors of the Medical faculty. Their main aim is to ensure the operation of Medical Faculties and address the concerns of Medical Students,” Prof. Colvin Gunarathne told reporters in Colombo on Thursday (Dec. 10).
While addressing concerns over the removal of the Chairman and members of the Sri Lanka Medical Council, Prof. Gunarathne said based on his understanding the key responsibility of the Sri Lanka Medical Council is to protect the people of this country.
“Some say it is about protecting doctors, but that is wrong. The biggest issue is whether we are going to hand over the safety of the people to an institution of those who entered through a 65% majority. This is the core reason for the problems at present and previously,” he further said.
Meanwhile, a Former Member of SLMC, Specialist Dr.Sarath Gamini De Silva said those in the medical field do not have the luxury of making any mistakes.
“Therefore, doctors must be trained well and the conduct of doctors should be looked into in a responsible manner. All such functions are supervised by the Sri Lanka Medical Council; meaning, SLMC should be allowed to operate free of interference,” Dr. Sarath Gamini De Silva told reporters.
While noting that there are political and trade union interferences at any institution in Sri Lanka, Dr. De Silva emphasized that by heeding to such interferences the prime responsibility of the SLMC cannot be fulfilled.
“The most important point is that none of the 25-members can be removed from their positions until the five-year tenure concludes. We functioned independently and the recent issue has overturned the situation. Especially, based on Trade Union interference Chairman of SLMC and four members were suddenly removed. This is a disappointing and critical situation. We need to reverse this,” Dr. De Silva, a Former Member of SLMC emphasized.
Also speaking at the media briefing was Prof. Mohan De Silva, Former Chairman of SLMC who was of the view that there is an unbiased and fair procedure for every medical council.
“The society, people, patients, medical students, parents of medical students, and international medical councils will look into the conduct of our Sri Lanka Medical Council based on whether it operates in an unbiased manner in accordance with the Medical Charter,” Prof. Mohan De Silva emphasized
According to Prof. Mohan De Silva, the present situation has raised concerns internationally, with regard to the lack of unbiased nature of operations.
“If this reaches the international stage, it will be a huge disgrace to our country, not only to the doctors but to the country as a whole,” Prof. Mohan De Silva reiterated.
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