The British doctor who was performing heart surgeries at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital was suspended from work , pending the determination of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) on his practicing licence, Hospital Director Dr. Jayampathy Senanayake said today.
Dr. Senanayake told the Daily Mirror that the issue had been taken up after several doctors attached to the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) had stressed on the fact that this British doctor did not have the practicing licence in the United Kingdom (UK) which was needed to be renewed from time to time.
He said the British doctor had assumed work at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital following an approval letter issued by the SLMC and added that the SLMC had the sole authority to decide on it.
“Those doctors attached to the GMOA were threatening to take trade union actions if the authorities would not take any action against this doctor. In UK, doctors should have the registration of its Medical Council and there is also a practicing licence which is needed to be renewed. However, unlike in the UK, only the SLMC’s registration is needed to practice as a doctor in Sri Lanka,” he said.
“Another claim of the GMOA is that the said British doctor was old in age,” he added.
He said accordingly, they were waiting for a determination of the SLMC and added that till then the British doctor was suspended from his work for a few days.
Meanwhile, an official of the Health Ministry said this elderly British doctor was performing heart surgeries especially in complicated cases for children.
However, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge told the Daily Mirror that when they inquired about the qualifications of this doctor, they had found out that he only had the registration of General Medical Council (GMC) in UK and not practicing rights.
“He was deprived of practicing rights in UK in 2015 due to some reason and he had concealed it while he was producing his documents to the SLMC. This 67-year-old British Cardiothoracic surgeon has started working at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in 2016,” he said.
He said the GMOA was waiting for the determination of the inquiry with regard to this matter and added that it was not appropriate to let a doctor who does not have practicing rights in his own country to practice in Sri Lanka. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)