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Specialist Medical Officer laments non-realisation of Cabinet decision


Comments / 937 Views / Friday, 21 April 2017 00:00


By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal last Wednesday (19) issued notices on the Health Ministry Secretary and the Director General of Health Services and others returnable for 9 May in respect of a Writ application filed by a Consultant Cardiologist of the Specialist Medical Officer category lamenting of the failure to implement the decision of the Cabinet.

Aggrieved petitioner Specialist Medical Officer Dr. Jayantha B. Jayawardena bemoans the Respondents’ delay and/or failure to give effect to the decision of the Cabinet is due to unlawful pressure by a group of persons with vested interest in preventing the current senior most Specialists from continuing for another three years (up to 63 years).

The matter was taken up before Justices A.H.M.D. Nawaz and Lalith Jayasuriya.

Senior Counsel Harsha Fernando instructed by K. Ganeshayohan appearing for the Petitioner made submission on the failure of the Health Ministry Secretary to implement the decision of the Cabinet taken in September 2016 to extend the compulsory retirement age of Specialist Medical Consultant to 63 years.

He referred to the fact that one of the reports of the Health Ministry has identified there is a dearth of Specialist Medical Consultants with a ratio of one medical specialist to 10,816 of the population.

He submitted that according to the report it cost tax payer almost Rs. 10 million to produce a Medical Specialist and therefore getting their services for an additional three years is very much in the public interest.

He highlighted the average age of a person became a Consultant is 47 years and the specialist takes part in the service only for 13 years if the current compulsory retirement age is to stand.

Petitioner cited the Health Minister, Ministry Secretary, Director General of Health Services, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Management, Public Service Commission, Attorney General and others as Respondents.

The Petitioner states the Cabinet of Ministers on 13 September 2016 took a decision noted the following(a) that there are 1,164 vacancies in the post of Specialist Medical Officer in the curative sector; and (b) that as per the existing procedure a considerable period of time would be required to fill the vacancies.

The Cabinet having noted the above granted approval as a matter of policy to extend the age of compulsory retirement of experienced Specialist Medical Officers and directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Management to take necessary steps to amend the Minutes on Pension for the implementation of the above, Petitioner states.


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