SLMA to decide on SLMC’s future | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

SLMA to decide on SLMC’s future

In the wake of a crisis unfolding over the Sri Lanka Medical Council, after its president Dr Colvin Gunaratne quit citing huge problems with the 80-year old Medical Ordinance and capture of the professional governing body by doctors’ unions, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) is planning to convene a special meeting soon to discuss the developments, the Sunday Observer learns. The powerful doctors’ union, the GMOA is demanding that the composition of the Sri Lanka Medical Council remains unchanged, while it is also resisting changes to the archaic Medical Ordinance, that Dr Gunaratne, upon resigning as President, claimed did not serve patients and the public.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer Dr. Ruvaiz Haniffa, the president of SLMA, told that the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) has also requested SLMA to convene the meeting in order to determine the future of SLMC. The SLMA is the umbrella body for doctors of all grades in both state and private sector.

“SLMC needs a huge change. Specially the section 12 and 13 of the Medical ordinance needs to be amended. Even the ordinance itself doesn’t clearly carry the purpose of SLMC, which is protecting the public not doctors” he said. On August 6, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) had sent a letter to AMS with the headline of ‘Imminent Dissolution of SLMC’, in a bid to seek the participation of AMS for a meeting to discuss matters with regard to the SLMC. But AMS so far has rejected GMOA’s request claiming that the GMOA is just a trade union and has no right to convene a meeting. The AMS has now requested an intervention of SLMA in to the matter.

“However we are against a dissolution of SLMC. It has to continue. Otherwise what’s the solution for the vacuum in between? We must bring a new ordinance while continuing the existing one” Dr Haniffa stressed.

Professor Colvin Gunaratne former President of SLMC stepped down from his position, stating that SLMC is not serving the public as it should. “Two thirds of SLMC members are doctors. How can we expect justice to the public?” He questioned at a press conference. Professor Gunaratne also demanded to dissolve the SLMC and establish a fresh council with a new ordinance. 

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