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The irresponsibility of doctors


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 7 July 2017 00:00


The doctors who have taken the Hippocratic Oath to serve the people are acting most irresponsibly. While on strike in the Government hospitals, some have been observed reporting at private hospitals where they get paid in addition to their salary in the public service. 

Do doctors get paid from the Government when they are on strike? I hope not for that will only encourage them to strike. The country needs more doctors and more institutions to produce doctors since the Government cannot afford to invest more in educating doctors given the other more pressing demands for funding for the benefit of the people.

People need doctors when they fall ill. No profession should be allowed to restrict the supply of new entrants since it is not in their interest as it erodes the high remuneration they obtain presently. The public needs not only more doctors but also cheaper doctors. 

These doctors’ medical education has been provided by the people and they should be called upon to reimburse the cost of such education if they are allowed private practice for they get more remuneration thereby. But they need other Government services as well.

Have doctors complied with the elementary requirement to give timely public notice? We had more responsible doctors when the profession was recruited from the urban middle classes which act responsibly. But the newer generations of doctors are from the hoi polloi and are irresponsible.

It is time pass a law regulating strikes by employees in the Government who are engaged in providing essential services to the people. It should cover all essential services including the supply of water and electricity and any other l services considered essential in our underdeveloped economy.

R.M.B. Senanayake, Retd. C.C.S.


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