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Medical specialists to refrain from private practice over unfair taxation

11 June 2018 09:55 am - 28     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Medical specialists have threatened to abstain from private practice from June 18 if the authorities failed to restructure the tax policy on medical specialists, Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) said.

AMS President Dr. Sunil Wijayasinghe told Daily Mirror that according to the new tax policy of the government, tax amount imposed on medical specialists has increased from 12% to 24% from April 1 2018.

"If the doctor's fee is 1000 rupees, government gets VAT (Value Added Tax) Rs 150, income tax Rs 240 and Total tax of Rs. 390. So, patient pays a fee of Rs.1650 out of which minimum of Rs 390 are government taxes (23%). The amount of tax earned through hospital fee will be additional. Eventually your medical specialist gets only Rs. 760 from what you spend (44% of what you pay). Government saves money from state health and earn money from private sector," Dr. Wijayasinghe claimed.

He said the AMS and all others involved in this 'Medical Specialists’ Collective' would explore all the possible avenues to settle this dispute through negotiations.

"AMS has already had several rounds of discussions with relevant authorities on this matter. A crucial meeting will be held this evening with the Finance Minister. We will resort to action only if negotiations fail," Dr. Wijayasinghe said.

"This is only applicable for medical specialists. However, those working in the government hospitals will do their hospital duties as usual providing service at government institutions," Dr. Wijayasinghe added. He advised the general public to seek treatment from the government hospitals from June 18. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

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  Comments - 28

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  • yahiya Monday, 11 June 2018 10:02 AM

    If can't bring the total bill below 1200/= its relief for people. Private consultation will reduce the state hospital congestion

    RDF Monday, 11 June 2018 08:42 PM

    Looks like a new tactic by the specialists to gain the sympathy of the public and get their demands. This will backfire as they will not be able to sustain it for long.However during this period there will be chaos in government hospitals as even now it cannot cope with the numbers coming in.

    Specialist Tuesday, 12 June 2018 07:37 AM

    If they are so concerned, why don't they reduce their fee?

    Unchikun Monday, 11 June 2018 10:03 AM

    In developed countries very one has to pay a tax. These fellows who such blood out of people should realized that even the senior citizens are taxed now and we have accepted it.

    L C A Monday, 11 June 2018 11:00 AM

    In the developed countries, they have been utilizing the public taxes for the developments. We collect taxes as same as those countries but still we are categorized as an underdeveloped country for last 114 years.

    Kadmin Monday, 11 June 2018 10:14 AM

    I see a positive side to this story. However they will increase the doctor fee to counter their lost money i presume. Either way this move is to curb black money which doctors are amassing through private practises. My advise is to go to government hospitals for your medications and reduce private visits. Government's responsibility is to come up with a system to cater every citizen without long queues.

    Lahiru Monday, 11 June 2018 10:26 AM

    Isn't the tax for everyone? It is not a tax policy on medical specialists but on all Sri Lankans who earn above a certain amount. So how come it is unfair just for the medical specialists? As they say, nothing is certain but death and taxation!

    Don Monday, 11 June 2018 10:49 AM

    If the doctors are not doing private practice all Sri Lankans are very lucky like people in UK with only a limited private practice (2-3 patients a day) is allowed with high tax rates for only experienced consultants.

    chamcy Monday, 11 June 2018 10:55 AM

    Specialist doctors are the highest daily income earners in this country. Most of them consult in the morning and evening in the private hospitals. Any idea how much they earn per day ? Some more than 100K some 200K. that is 2Mn-3Mn per month. So what is the problem of paying extra tax to the government when all other white collar executives pay based on their earnings ? this is addition to the vehicle permit and other benefits given by pharmaceutical companies for recommending their brands.

    Sunil Monday, 11 June 2018 10:57 AM

    Doctors who engage in private practice have not been paying PAYE tax on all their income. Now they are coming into the net compulsorily. It's nothing but fair that they pay the legitimate tax on their income. Whether the tax rate is high or not is a different issue. Bottom line is that they HAVE to pay tax on all their earnings. Same way that all other wage earners do. Bot how ethical is it to charge the tax from the poor patients? The Inland Revenue Dept should check the consultation fees previously charged by these doctors. If they are passing the PAYE tax to the patient it should be stopped. Going on strike seem to be their panacea. Such a sad state of affairs..!!

    naazrey Monday, 11 June 2018 11:20 AM

    have a ceiling on the fee and impose tax. Doctors are blood suckers, they will try to levy the tax from the patients. Govt. dont budge in this particular issue. We have paid by way of tax and made them to this position and what was threir return to this nation. beating is the best medicine for them

    Arthur Monday, 11 June 2018 11:26 AM

    The VAT and hospital charges are paid by the patient. The only increase to the specialist is Rs 120/- in the case of the example. Why cry so much about this pittance when earning so much on a day. Shame on you doctors.

    Ara Monday, 11 June 2018 11:39 AM

    I could be wrong, but isn't income tax should be paid by the individual concerned on his income? Does Dr. Sunil Wijayasinghe expects the patients to bear the cost of his income tax? The patient is liable to pay the Rs. 1,000/- (above example), hospital fees and the related VAT/taxes. Why should the patient pay the Rs. 240/- (income tax)? That should be paid by the doctor on his income. Or does he believe that doctors are above paying taxes? Then again I could be wrong.

    Doctor Monday, 11 June 2018 11:42 AM

    I am doctor from Australia and i pay 50% of my salary as taxes. In general it helps to improve the quality of all people and I can live with that.

    SriLankan Monday, 11 June 2018 12:29 PM

    In Sri Lanka Doctors are concerned to improve their lives and not the lives of the people.

    lkboy Monday, 11 June 2018 11:43 AM

    This is daylight robbery. These fellows have to pay the fee for their income, not through the patients!

    joseph Monday, 11 June 2018 12:30 PM

    Let the doctors strike Make them liable if a single patient die due to their strike and hold the hospital liable for employing such doctors.

    Samson Monday, 11 June 2018 12:33 PM

    The specialists have had a long innings by not paying taxes. If these specialists earn they must be subjected to the taxes as paid by other professions and others. Their daily earnings are the highest for any human in SL. Alternative for the government is to stop private practice and pay them for overtime and have the service to patients until the state medical services are improved. The whole issue is that successive governments have failed to address the problems faced by patients.

    joshua Monday, 11 June 2018 12:38 PM

    Hope the Government does not fall prey to this request of the goons. Most of the Doctors do not pay taxes. We need to increase the direct taxation and there is no way the Doctors be allowed to escape. Direct taxes cannot be passed on to the patients.

    fayaz Monday, 11 June 2018 01:53 PM

    stop your private practice and focus on the needy who attend the government hospitals from whose tax money you earned your degrees.

    WTF Monday, 11 June 2018 02:01 PM

    (1) They get a tax payer funded free education. (2) Are the highest income earners in the country. (3) Get the most benefits such as car permits, and now they are complaining about having to pay tax for the benefit of the country. Meva kaata kiyannada? Puduma manushayo tikak thamai.

    omniscient Monday, 11 June 2018 02:03 PM

    Most doctors have taken huge loans to buy expensive vehicles, build houses etc and won't be able to keep away from private practice for long.

    SAM Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:16 AM

    Its the same in any trade or service. The leasing man makes the buck.

    fair and square Monday, 11 June 2018 02:04 PM

    If you earn more, you must pay (through taxes) more.

    patriot Monday, 11 June 2018 08:28 PM

    First of all these blood suckers should be made to be equal to all other Sri Lankans. They should either work for the government or for private sector. They cant earn both. Otherwise every govt employee should be allowed to work in parallel for the private sector. Next they should not get any special duty free cars. I work overseas and earn millions for my country but i dont get a duty free car. So why should a doctor get. They get free education at tax payers money. They should pay back by working for the govt for 5 years.

    hariharan Tuesday, 12 June 2018 07:30 AM

    Sri lanka has the most greedy doctors in the world who are nothing but highway robbers. They recommend unnecessary tests to receive commissions from the labs. All these buggers learn at public expense, FREE. They are jealous about people who want to pay to get an education. Remember SAITM? Their wealth should be examined, investigated and made to pay back taxes. Bring-in malpractice insurance. The bottom line is that majority of them are not even eligible to practice anywhere other than in SL. SL need controls, licensing, and malpractice insurance.

    SAM Tuesday, 12 June 2018 10:13 AM

    Its unfair to tax the patients. Doctors doing private practice should be personally taxed. Also a mechanism should be handled to charging insurance patients who are charged with high prices. First thing authorities ask from the patient is are u insured are not.

    S. H. A. Ahamed Tuesday, 12 June 2018 02:23 PM

    Totally ban private practice for government employed doctors.


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