Annual Transfers: Docs Accuse Health Ministry of Sabotage
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Doctors accused the Health Ministry of sabotaging annual transfer orders and disrupting the smooth flow of the health service. GMOA Secretary, Dr. Senal Fernando, lashing out on Wednesday (22), said that the Health Secretary and the Public Service Commission (PSC) were purposely delaying the annual process by sending letters back and forth when clear-cut instructions were made available in a Gazette issued by the Ministry of Public Administration on ‘PSC Procedural Rules’ in which clause 213 clearly states the process which has to be followed with regard to annual transfers of medical practitioners.
In addition, the Health Ministry too has several circulars in this regard. But the Health Secretary and the PSC were engaged in exchanging letters thereby delaying the well organised annual transfer procedure. This is sabotage, he alleged. It disrupted the system in 2020 when transfers which were to be implemented in January that year were dragged and delayed till several months later.
The same occurred in 2021. When the annual transfer lists had to be published by November each year which allows their implementation in January the following year, the Health Ministry headed by the Health Secretary, engage in a letter exchanging process requesting the PSC to clarify this and that process, the GMOA Secretary accused. The Transfer list for 2022 has to go up by November 2021 like in the past but the Health Ministry is the least prepared to even start the process, he alleged.
Dr. Fernando said that the situation had created severe unrest amongst the doctors who have spent time in their various stations for a maximum of four years by which time they should be transferred to another station instead of being left to languish in one place. It could easily lead to frustration and brain drain should the situation persist. Also, people in those areas should be given the opportunity to receive the services specialties in the medical field, he noted.