Rajitha denies making influence on SLMC operations | Daily News

Rajitha denies making influence on SLMC operations

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP former Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday denied the allegation that he attempted to influence the operations of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) during the Yahapalana regime.

MP Senaratne, joining the debate on two orders of the Medical Ordinance brought forward by the Health Minister, said, “Today we are talking about two regulations of the Medical Ordinance. The Health Minister did not talk about the history of this. Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris spoke in detail about the intention here. In 2017, I was the first to decide to carry out this myself. Initiative for these regulations was made by the World Federation. As you said, the World Federation of Medical Education decided to bring these standards around 2000, when I was in the Opposition. After a series of discussions with Wimal Weerawansa, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, then Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva appointed a committee under my chairmanship, but the Medical Council did not approve it. But we wanted to adopt the WFME standards in our country.”

Senaratne said that in 2017, a chairmanship was set up to draft this. “The then MC Chairman, Prof. Carlo Fonseka and Prof. Nilanthi de Silva took the initiative to make these regulations and Prof. Lalitha Mendis, Prof. Narada Warnasuriya, and Dr. Gominda Ponnapperuma were also in it.

We never interfered. I did not even give these people a phone call. They were told to prepare it and submit it to us. Accordingly, regulations were made and all medical faculties and relevant faculties were informed about it. According to the views of the medical faculties, these regulations were again amended and finally submitted to the Attorney General for approval. We published this gazette notification on January 26, 2018. After this was gazetted and after the doctors and educators showed us that there were some technical errors, we left it to the lawyers to amend it, and I could not bring that amendment to Parliament and the regulations could not be gazetted. That is same set of regulations that got gazetted on December 26, 2019,” MP Rajitha said.

“This gazette notification was issued after 1 1/2 years of lengthy discussions by specialist doctors on minimum standards. Also in 2017, we brought another amendment to give internships to dentists. An amendment was brought in 2018 to the Medical Ordinance as there is a specialist register in other developed countries.

It was passed unanimously and the MP called to set up an independent council like the General Medical Council of Britain. We did not interfere in this medical council in any way. We allowed the Medical Council to do as it pleased.

Therefore, the Medical Council is not for doctors or professionals but for the people of this country. It has education, medical training, complaints against doctors, quality tests.”