Government Medical officers’Association (GMOA Spokesman Dr. Navin Soysa, said there were around 40,000 non-qualified doctors in the country. He said it was mandatory to have a registry for doctors.
“There are some 40,000 non-qualified people who practise as doctors in the country. A person is not considered a doctor if he is not registered under the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Ayurvedic Council or the Homoeopathic Council. It is a must to get registered under one of these. Since the case of fake doctors has existed for some time now, they took the initiative to make a registry for registered doctors under these three institutions. Unfortunately only the SLMC prepared such a list,” he said.
Dr. Soysa said if there was a list for registered doctors, it would be easier for the police in their investigations. He said the situation was worse when it came to specialist doctors.
“We do not have an evaluation system for the doctors who are qualified abroad. In 2012, along with the Ministry we took the initiative to prepare a registry of specialist doctors. But it had to be halted as a private hospital went to Court against it. But cases like these in fact show the need of a registry and also of a Foreign Specialist Evaluation System (FSES). This case got highlighted only because it is a death of a doctor. But there are many other victims,” Dr. Soysa said.
He said women, especially Asian women, prefered to have such surgeries performed by an unknown person. Unlike in Western cultures, they would perform such surgeries quietly, without seeking a second opinion. These doctors who have private clinics also get publicity through media and they spend large amounts of money for their publicity. As Dr. Soysa points out, journalists are helpless and misguided as they do not have a way of checking whether these doctors are actually qualified.
Furthermore he said the Private Medical Institution Regulation Act, which was brought when Nimal Siripala de Silva was the Minister of Health failed to satisfy the purpose.
There are some 40,000 non-qualified people who practise as doctors in the country. Since the case of fake doctors has existed for some time now, they took the initiative to make a registry for registered doctors under three institutions. Unfortunately only the SLMC prepared such a list
“The Private Medical Institution Regulation Act (PMIRA) did not have the content which we expected of it. It did not have anything to do with improving the quality of care of the medical sector. Rather, it was aimed at collecting more taxes from private medical institutions. When we objected, the president instructed to amend the Act in 2007. So far this amendment has not been implemented. In fact the Act itself is not active. The only part which is active in the said act is charging of a fee when registering a private hospital or practice,” he said.
Dr. Soysa said the public must be careful when undergoing such treatment.
“The general public must be vigilant. There are beauticians who pose as doctors prescribing medicine, people who practise hypnotism and even body building. They cannot prescribe medicine as doctors do. Therefore please be more aware,” he said.