The Sunday Leader

GMOA War Turns Ugly

By Nirmala Kannangara

The war among members of the Government Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) turned ugly last week as two groups clashed at the Colombo National hospital.

A group of proscribed members of the now defunct GMOA were accused of sabotaging a meeting presided by Senior Consultants at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL).

The banned members had allegedly prevented the alternate GMOA group of forming the NHSL branch union and were accused of sabotaging a meeting last Wednesday where a decision was to be taken to elect members to the union in two weeks.

According to Senior ENT Consultant Surgeon Dr Ravi Dayasena, a decision was to be taken by the alternate GMOA members of the NHSL to elect members to its branch union that was dissolved two years ago.

“Two years ago the then GMOA President dissolved the NHSL branch union and since there is no union to look into the issues faced by the NHSL doctors, we as Senior Consultants and other GMOA members decided to hold a meeting to call for nominations for office bearers in two weeks. The banned members of the GMOA saw this situation as a threat to them and sabotaged the meeting creating an unpleasant atmosphere which has never happened before,” said Dr Dayasena.

He alleged that this group of about ten doctors started shouting at NHSL branch union President Dr Ratnasena in abusive language when he started addressing the gathering.

“Dr Ratnasena is a Senior Consultant who has lectured most of these doctors and it was disheartening to see the way they behaved in front of Senior Consultants. Dr Ratnasena neither spoke ill of the banned GMOA members nor spoke about the allegations levelled against them. He merely wanted to tell the importance of having a branch union at the NHSL which was dissolved two years ago. Since theses banned members did not want to allow the alternate group to have their own members in the branch union, they disrupted the meeting. They were behaving unprofessionally and scolded Dr Ratnasena in abusive language. They even pulled his tie and wanted to assault him but the rest of the NHSL doctors prevented it,” alleged Dr Dayasena.

Meanwhile a senior NHSL doctor who wished to remain anonymous further alleged as to how the banned executive committee members of the GMOA threw bottles of sauce towards the Senior Consultants when they wanted to address the members.

“How can these doctors, who are not working at the NHSL, get involved in NHSL branch union meetings. Who wanted them to come to the meeting? They are desperate to hold on to the power even now although the court has banned them from holding office from last month. We did not want to create any confusion but to tell our membership that we are going to appoint members to the NHSL branch union,” added the NHSL sources.

According to these sources, this group of doctors did not want to lose the power at the NHSL branch union and was trying their best to prevent the alternate group from gaining command of the NHSL branch union.

“There are over 100 Senior Consultants, around 300 Post Graduate Trainees and 1,100 grade doctors at the NHSL. Around 40 Consultants and 200 grade doctors attended this meeting on Wednesday. This group started shouting claiming that there is no legality to hold such a meeting to appoint members to the union branch and that there is no necessity to have a branch union since there is an interim committee. When we had a meeting three months ago to discuss about the appointments to the NHSL branch union there again the then GMOA executive committee members opposed that decision. They openly said that they will not allow the establishment of a branch union at the NHSL and that was why they disrupted the meeting on Wednesday,” alleged the sources.

Following the sabotage, Director NHSL Dr Anil Jasinghe has given police protection to the alternate group and the interrupted meeting has been held later at the Neuro Trauma Auditorium. “We took a decision to appoint members to the NHSL branch union in two weeks,” the sources added. Meanwhile, Dr Chandika Epitakaduwa, on behalf of the defunct GMOA, refuted the alternate group’s claim and added that they did not disrupt the NHSL meeting.

“There are 1,400 doctors at the NHSL and how can a group of ten doctors sabotage their meeting and assault them as claimed by the alternate group. If we behave in such an unruly manner, will these 1,400 doctors allow us to go unharmed? The proposed plan to appoint members to the NHSL branch union is illegal,” said Dr Epitakaduwa.

3 Comments for “GMOA War Turns Ugly”

  1. Doctor

    Padeniya is like a mad pariah dog. Trying to hang on to power at all cost.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. Kiri Gamarala

    “…If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.” (last statement of Hippocratic Oath – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    In fact they were seen enjoying life with “marshal art”, “freedom of expression” and “sauce bottles”. Missing factor was “drinks that cheer” and the forgotten factor appeared to be “healing thyself”.

  3. patriot

    ‘The most powerful trade union in the country has been split into two.. Now the Govt. has no problem in facing any threats of a strike by doctors in the future.
    Who could have engineered the break- up ? It’s anybodys. guess:.

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