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'Health Ministry clueless about number of docs'

2013 Jul 18

By Don Asoka Wijewardena  

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has faulted the Health Ministry for its continuing failure to maintain a proper database on (Human Resources Management Information System) on doctors.                                    GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya yesterday said the matter had been raised periodically over the years, but to no avail.

Although there were around 17,000 doctors in the country neither the Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka nor the Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala knew the exact figures of doctors serving in the State-run hospitals, the GMOA Chief claimed, adding that even the Health Minister was not aware of the actual number. Even though there were several directors with all types of titles such as Information and planning appointed by the Ministry, when asked for the correct numbers of doctors serving in the hospitals, more than five directors gave different figures, the GMOA President said.

Dr. Padeniya told a media conference at the GMOA head office that the Director General of Health Services had sent circulars to all hospital administrators to prepare lists of doctors assigned to their respective hospitals, but hitherto no hospital administrator had sent lists to the Health Ministry to prepare a complete database. He said action should be taken against the hospital heads for insubordination.

Dr. Padeniya added that the GMOA would hand over a set of booklets spelling out the correct method of collecting data from the hospitals. If their request again fell on deaf ears, the GMOA would not hesitate to bring the matter to the notice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said.

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