Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Registrar Dr. Nihal Nonis says although they are not provisioned to take action against institutions, they are able to take action if complaints are filed against individuals who violate the standards of the medical profession. “We have methods of investigating and probing into individuals if an official complaint is lodged with the SLMC. Accordingly relevant action can be taken against those accused ranging from issuing warnings, suspending their practice as well as terminating their registrations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the national body for regulating private sector health services – the Private Health Regulatory Council (PHSRC) said it was advisable for those who visited private sector health service institutions to make sure the establishments were registered with the Council before going for treatment. PHSRC Secretary Dr. Kanthi Ariyarathne speaking to Daily Mirror said the private sector health practices should also display the registered certificate in an area where it is visible to the visitors.
“Under the Private Medical Institutions (Registration) Act No 21 of 200, registering with the PHRSC guarantees that our regulatory mechanism will ensure the standards of the private sector health service establishments are maintained with concern for human resources and equipment. We have set out 11 categories and each category has various guidelines they should be adhering to and if any of these are violated there is a series of actions that can be taken against these institutions that have been provisioned to us by law” she added.
However, she also mentioned that if an offence was committed, the establishment is provided with a reasonable period of time to rectify their errors. However, if they continued to ignore the regulations, she said legal action could be taken even to the extent of closing down the establishment. “But it is important for the public also to realize that this is a gradual process and this is a service sector and we need to observe the crises from a practical point of view,” she said.