Healthy Life Clinic Of No.10, Deal Place, Colombo 03 – Fleecing Poor Patients
To consult Dr Kayathri Periasamy on Saturday June 16, 2012 at the Healthy Life Clinic down Deal Place, I sent my office assistant on June 14, 2012 to obtain an appointment. He inadvertently obtained a consultation receipt for June 15, 2012, paying Rs.1,000 towards the Doctor’s fee and Rs. 350 as hospital charges making a total of Rs.1,350 under receipt No. 201212910 dated 14/06/2012.
Upon receipt of this and realising the mistaken appointment obtained on the 14th for the 15th of June 2012, I immediately dispatched my office assistant back to the Healthy Life Clinic within the hour to get the appointment corrected from the 15th of June 2012 to the 16th of June 2012.
To my horror, the office assistant rang back from the clinic to say that if I wanted to change the appointment from the 15th of June to the 16th of June on the 14th of June, I will have to pay an extra Rs.350 as further hospital charges that would make the total Rs.1,700. The reason was that it was something like a ‘Cashier Consultation Fee’ all because the cashier was reluctant to change the date. This has never happened in any other private hospital in the country. What audacity!!
Considering this exorbitant double charge for a facility not availed, I requested over the phone on the 14th of June instant, for a refund of the money paid. The cashier was only prepared to refund Rs.1,000. I then refused to accept the short refund of Rs.1,000 and my office assistant cancelled the appointment and brought back the original receipt. The clinic made a 100% profit for an unused facility. This is a downright fraud that has to be investigated by the Ministry of Health where patients from all walks of life are being swindled for a facility that is prevented from being used over threat of extortion i.e. – Pay more or get less if you wish to change the date the previous day for the day after.
The arrogance of the cashier at this clinic is a clear manifestation of the management trying to make a fast buck from the patients.
Although I personally can live by losing Rs 1,350 by refusing to collect the money that was going to be refunded short of Rs.350, I would request the Ministry of Health to send a decoy and check for themselves how this avaricious management is swindling the patients. A word of caution to patients. Don’t allow this clinic to take you for a ride. Go somewhere else!
Mrs. P. Moorthy
Response To Mr.Weerakone Banda’s Letter On Udapussellawa Railway
First of all, let me say that I talked about this with a person very knowledgeable of the railways, its development and the operations and somebody who was involved with the Railway Museum since its inception, before writing this reply. Mr. Weerakone Banda’s comments must be altered in that the line is currently being considered to be reopened as a meter gauge line, but not a broad gauge line. In railway terminology, all gauges smaller than the standard gauge (4ft, 8 1⁄2in) are considered narrow gauge. Therefore, although it is different from the gauge to which the UPR was originally built (2ft. 6in), it would still be built in narrow gauge of one meter. I totally agree that there is no need for any public railway line between Nanu Oya and Nuwara Eliya and beyond. If ever reinstated, it should be as a tourist railway. In addition to targeting foreigners, company and leisure trips and various other activities can revolve around this, generating income for the railways.
I know it is hard to compare England with Sri Lanka in such matters as this, let alone in economics of scale but in most other aspects as well, but sections of most British lines severed after the recommendations of what is called the Dr Beeching report in the mid-1960s, have been reinstated as preserved railways, with most of them doing well till now. In neighboring India too, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) and Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) are world famous world heritage railway lines (there are only three world heritage railway lines, if the facts that I know are correct). Henry Cave, a Birtish traveler who came here in early 20th century, compared the UPR track to DHR in his book. When it was functioning, Kandapola was the highest station in the island, with the line dropping thousands of feet between it and Brookside. To touch on a slightly different aspect but still related, some group did a study on the performance of the suburban section of the coastal line (towards Matara, that was upgraded recently) and found that, even if no charge was made from the commuters and passengers, that section of the line would still contribute in millions to the national economy in terms of lack of congestion, pollution and vehicle operating cost that would be incurred if the same number of people were to be carried along the roads. This and a lot of other important facts can be found in railway books such as RAILWAYS OF SRI LANKA by one Dr David Hyatt. Likewise, taken itself alone for consideration, the UPR may not seem to bring the expected return, but when things such as the boom in the local tourism industry and connected trade are taken into consideration, it still may and thus be worthwhile exploring for reinstatement.
Disunity In Veddha
Adi Vasi Community
The Veddha or ‘Adi Vasi’ community was living in peace and unity all these years without serious in-fighting despite the hard life they led.
Politicians took an intererst on the lives of the Veddha community and in doing so, unintentionally though, inculcated our political culture among them, disrupting the peaceful, religious and educational environment introduced by religious leaders of the calibre of Ven. Kitalagama Seelalankara Thera (Dimbulagala Hamuduruwo), who was killed by the LTTE.
True to our political culture, the Veddha community is now engaged in a leadership struggle, exhibiting their disunity in the process, as publicised in the media. There may perhaps be cross-overs too! I never though that disunity was contagious.
Pathetic, no doubt!!
Uplai S. Jayasekera
Private Banks’ Performance
Reports and Savings Mobilization
During a bygone period the Chief Executives of private sector commercial banks released their performance information periodically to the newspapers for publication and very rarely the photograph of the Chief Executive appeared in the newspapers with the released information. Recently the Central Bank made changes in the appointment of Directors and most banks lost the services of some of the committed and long serving dedicated Directors.
Some of the newly appointed Directors earnings are from socially questionable enterprises and of late where performance information is published in addition to the Chief Executive’s photograph the Chairman’s photograph is published, though the success and the achievements are due to the dedicated efforts of the Chief Executive and his staff. Such publicity for no apparent reason is advertising themselves. Of late, specialist officers of non-banking services who have joined the institutions of late are also advertising themselves with the introduction of a few additional features, while the long serving senior officers, who could with authority and knowledge speak on all customer attached banking functions, its benefits, operational procedures are denied the authority by the self-serving new persons. Chief Executives should, in the interest of the officers involved in direct banking functions, should ensure that they are not crestfallen and disheartened from the self-serving attitudes of new entrants.
Traditionally, key progress features are released as a news item; profits, total advances, total deposits and a few others. In respect of deposits the savings accounts, performance should be given prominence, its growth is an encouragement to save and the national interest could be focused. The Finance Ministry and the Central Bank should jointly induce bank managements to intensify savings mobilization campaigns specially with advertisements in daily newspapers and in all TV channels.
Former Private Sector
Commercial Bank Employee