13 April, 2024

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The Eyewash Of Doctors’ Salary Increased By 35000 Rupees

By Murali Vallipuranathan –

Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan

The purpose of this article is to investigate the reality regarding the fact that after the announcement that the salary of doctors in the government service has been increased by 35000 rupees, other health sector trade unions were engaged in a 2-day boycott demanding an increase of 35000 rupees and have now announced that they will resume trade union activity from the 16th January 2024.

While the political leaders who came to power after the economic collapse due to corruption imposed increased taxes on government employees earning more than 100,000 rupees per month in the name of IMF recommendation, the salary of government doctors was deducted on average more than 35,000 rupees as tax. Doctors in Sri Lanka, who are poorly paid compared to other countries, are dissatisfied with the salary cut and have started leaving the country in thousands.

Consequently several hospitals have become inactive, the distraught rulers have decided to pay 35,000 rupees to bring the salary of the doctors to the level that existed before the recent taxation. Actually this is not a salary increase.

For example, a medical specialist’s salary was reduced by Rs 40,000 due to tax. Now the 35000 rupees increase in income will lead to an increase in the tax rate on gross salary. So even if the actual increase is Rs.25 000 he will still get Rs.15000 less than before the tax.

Meanwhile, medical laboratory technologists (MLT) and other union members who are on non-taxable salary are getting their appointments after getting 3 passes in advanced level and completing a course conducted by the Ministry of Health not exceeding 1 or 2 years with a monthly stipend.

How is it fair for these mid-level health workers who call themselves health sector specialists to ask for the same salary increase from their non-taxable salary in par with medical officers who studied hard and scored highest marks in A/L and completed 5 years of medical college basic studies without any monthly allowances and one year internship to get their appointments?

And at a time when the country is facing a disaster due to floods and dengue outbreak, is it appropriate and ethical for health workers to fight such unjust demands?

Today’s rising cost of living has justified increasing salaries for all employees. But the reduction in public expenditure recommended by the International Monetary Fund should have been achieved by reducing defense expenditure as in other developing economies.But it is a mistake to set aside roughly 50% of the expenditure on defense and increase the tax on civil servants to fix it.

It is worth noting that even the trade unions asking for salary hikes in par with doctors, have not expressed their demand to reduce the cost of defense.

Politicians who exhort civil servants to cut costs and be frugal continue to engage in corruption and increase costs. Even a few days ago, Mahinda’s crew indulged in tax-payer-funded cruises and sprees.

No foreign countries have invaded Sri Lanka to keep the rulers’ defense spending high.There is no need for superpowers to invade Sri Lanka either. Because the rulers are ready to cooperate with all businesses that can exploit the people of Sri Lanka and give income to the superpowers.

Even so, the answer to the question of why there is an increased security expenditure can be found through the armed forces that are concentrated in the areas where Tamils live the most. The removal of the armed forces can only be achieved by honestly acknowledging the wrongs of the past, providing relief to the victims, creating reconciliation between the races and providing a dignified solution within a united Sri Lanka.

In any case, all government sector trade unions need to realize that only by cutting defense spending and ridding the country of corrupt politicians, they can get a pay raise higher than the eye-wash salary increase of the doctors. A concerted effort by all trade unions to make that happen is the only viable way to help all Sri Lankans get their pay rise and bring the country out of economic recession permanently.

*Disclaimer: Author Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan is a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Jaffna and Colombo, a Senior Medical Specialist of the Ministry of Health and a Council Member of the Sri Lanka Medical Association. He claims the opinion expressed in this article with social responsibility aims to improve the public awareness, promote good governance, reconciliation and in no way reflects his official positions.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    The author says that ridding the country of corrupt politicians to get a high pay raise needs to be realised. Also to acknowledgr the wrongs of the past. How on earth can anyone act like this. Truly like to know

  • 3
    8

    Author states:
    .
    “No foreign countries have invaded Sri Lanka to keep the rulers’ defense spending high.There is no need for superpowers to invade Sri Lanka either. …”
    […]
    “… the answer to the question of why there is an increased security expenditure can be found through the armed forces that are concentrated in the areas where Tamils live the most….”
    .
    In response:
    .
    Another aspect that the author seems to be unaware of is that Indian Ocean is a potential conflict zone in the escalating frictions between the US and China. In case of such frictions leading to an armed conflict, a battle ready military force in Sri Lanka may come in handy for the US to recruit to fight on their behalf, and alongside allied forces, without compromising US military personnel. It’s already happening in the Red Sea – a perfect example.
    .
    Getting others entangled in their conflicts is a well known US strategy – Ukraine fighting a proxy war to serve NATO interests, is the most recent example. Might happen in Taiwan too, now that the pro-US faction has won the most recent election.
    .

    • 4
      5

      Continued from above…
      .
      As per the healthcare work force, in Sri Lanka there’s a misplaced over-importance to the support staff compared to medical staff. Partly because governments’ have created and used rivalries between these sectors as a strategy to keep doctors’ under control. Particularly between doctors’ and nursing/MLT staff by way of favouring and inflitrating the trade unions of the latter group against the former.
      .
      The rise of one of the former leaders of the nurses union to the UNP political stage, including a short stint as a parlimentarian, during which he was alleged to have received a vehicle import permit worth some exorbitant amount (probabbly as a payment for his services) is one example. Links of a certain MLT trade union leader to a certain high ranking politician of the former UNP govt is another.
      .
      These political games aimed to fracture the medical staff for whatever the reasons best known to the orchestrators of them, I believe also resulted in breaking away of the specialist doctors from the GMOA.
      .
      On a broader scale what is at stake is the free (at the point of care) health system of the country.

      • 1
        1

        Mr ruchira,
        “The rise of one of the former leaders of the nurses union to the UNP political stage, including a short stint as a parlimentarian,”
        This is true, as you say, but you don’t want to talk about the JVP, which has infiltrated all unions, and some of their leaders were in parliment. Why are you ignoe JVP crimes?

        • 0
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          notohypocrisy – please do enlighten us on JVP crimes.

          • 1
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            Ruchira,
            “Please do enlighten us on JVP crimes.”
            Surprised indeed at your claimed utter Ignorance on the matter!!!??? May, have the Pleasure of RE-DIRECTING YOUR FOCUS in reading history of 1986 to 1989! Let’s leave the 1971 part, and attribute that as total and utter Ignorance and Innocence of a Virulent Nascent Misdirected YOUTH Organisation – to be forgiven as MISDEMEANOUR!!??? If not at least take time in a library or Newspaper Archives of your choice including Dawasa, Sun had vivid recordings published during that time, if available and especially ANCL archives!!??? Convinced, that would be GOOD READ and must!

            • 0
              1

              What you have said here is irrelevant to the context.

  • 4
    0

    According to the pie chart, Defence Sector claims nearly half (48%) of state salaries compared to the 2% allocated for Justice.
    I must say that drunkards and drug addicts spend money with greater prudence.

    • 1
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      CM,
      You have at last identified the Elite of the Emancipated Sri Lankans, who hold forth their Position with much esteem and vigour!!! They also contribute CONSIDERABLE AND SUBSTANTIAL proportion of REVENUE earned by THE EXCHEQUER!!!???

  • 6
    0

    I think that other wage earners too can, more deservedly, do with some eyewash.

    • 0
      1

      Do you want it with a preceding Tax Cut, like a side dish to savour?

      • 0
        0

        Oopps sorry, meant to say a preceding cut with increased taxes… LOL.

  • 6
    0

    Anpu
    Where are yo I understand?
    I understand Sumanthiran, Srithataran and Seenithamby Yogeswaran are running for the leadership contest. This is the first time in its 75 years of existence a contest has been arranged. There will be a secret ballot on 21 or 22 nd.

    Whom do you think the 325 party members should vote or would vote and why?

    Some months ago I read Sritharan (Vanni District MP) was opposed to irrigating Jaffna peninsula from Iranamadu Tank. He was adamant Vanni district does not have enough surplus water to provide the rest of the Jaffna.

    Now how can he expect the Northern or Eastern members to be kind to him?

  • 5
    5

    :”Doctors in Sri Lanka, who are poorly paid compared to other countries, are dissatisfied with the salary cut and have started leaving the country in thousands”
    Morally they should leave after paying the cost of education with interest to the Tax payers before leaving.
    Cost could me around 100 million for each Doctor

    • 5
      1

      All government doctors are gradudated thanks to tax payers but after graduation they treat the people not so kindly and willingly.

      Any country that offers free university education has its own system, where medical graduates (the most expesive education at Universities) pay the government all the expenses the government incurs for their education.
      However, for several reasons, Sri Lanka has failed to implement such measures over the decades.
      Germany (83 millions with over 50 or many universities across the country) offers free education in their universities even for foreign students, however, if they are funded by the German government, after their graduation, newly baked graduates must pay bursaries in other loans for a period of 10-15 years starting from the first job. . get started.
      This is how the German government has been able to maintain their free education to the next batch. So far no government elected by Sri Lankans has made a single national policy.. What did they do instead? They only have killed the time…. alas, what a nation ?

      • 6
        1

        LM ,
        These doctor guys seem to think that they deserve special treatment simply because they “studied hard and scored highest marks in A/L and completed 5 years of medical college basic studies without any monthly allowances and one year internship to get their appointments?”
        If they did so, was it not for their own advancement, just like, say, carpenters or masons, who also spend long years in apprenticeship. They don’t cost as much to a taxpayer as a doctor. Morally, these people should pay back their education costs before whining about low salaries.
        When they emigrate, they usually find that they no longer have the superior status they have here. In other countries, bus drivers earn as much as doctors.

        • 0
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          Here I am thinking SJ is the only communist here…

          • 2
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            There are plenty of closet communists here and elsewhere.

            • 0
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              😀

      • 1
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        “All government doctors are gradudated thanks to tax payers…”
        .
        Not all – some are graduated from foreign countries like Russia, Eastern European countries like Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Asian ones like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and even from European countries like the UK etc., but most of the European graduates may not end up working in Sri Lanka.
        .
        “… but after graduation they treat the people not so kindly and willingly.”
        .
        That’s true. (1) Why do you think they may be doing this? (2) Do these others who graduate from foreign countries having paid for their education are equally rude to people?

        • 0
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          Continued…
          .
          And to the list of foreign countries, from which some of the local doctors are graduated, I forgot to add China. There are lots of medical graduates coming from China nowadays.
          .
          Then there are also those who have studied at NCMC – North Colombo Medical College which was initially a private university. .
          And nowadays those who graduate from the medical faculty of Kotelawala Defence University or KDU, also pay for their studies.
          .
          You should not paint everyone with the same brush.

          • 0
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            Continued,
            .
            Furthermore the governement only bears part of the cost. There are a lot of out of the pocket expenses like for books and equipments, food, lodging and travelling etc.

    • 0
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      Dilshan – Excellent proposal how can we implement it?

    • 1
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      Dilshan,
      Opportunistic Costs should be incorporated into the calculations as they deprived others from slots, who then went abroad using valuable Foreign Exchange and funds to follow medicine, and they too were invariably lost to the Nation.

      • 0
        1

        How do you know they wouldn’t have left anyway, eben if they get selected to a local uni?

  • 4
    1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Og66gaTCaQ

    This man of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, not a learnt politician but has recalled that Gota did all that the NPP is proposing today as a President, but he CONFIRMED nevertheless to act as a leader of this nation, Gota appearantly failed.
    The NPP should understand that what they throw on the public stage is not easy to do because it is not easy to heal the wound of the nation as it seems. NPP has no whatsoever practicalities in srilanken ruling politics, how would they implement things in a country rabblerousers of various nature are the majority of the population ?

    • 3
      0

      Not only in Sri Lanka, there are American states full of pingonas (born fools).
      The man who let innocent people die during the COVID pandemic is now at the top of the wish list.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkJa5wfFn10

    • 4
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      (Part I)
      OC, LM, NV, SJ,
      This guy is Talking “SHOP”!!!???He is adducing, the GOOD Gota did – perceivably for the NEXT incarnation 2024!!! Reducing, VAT, Customs duty, et all and significantly of abolishing the Practice of Import License – ‘DUTY FREE’ – for import of vehicle by MP’S use, to perform their duties including visits to their electorates, which are distant and remote in nature Eastern, Northern, NCP, Uva, and SP, from the Parliament in Colombo or Kotte!!!??? He adverts hilariously, to the inception of such a programme from the times of DSS time as leader and Premier!!!???
      What a NUT to be selected by any idiosyncratic to speak on that subject, at least he should verify FACTS from FICTION!!!??? Ofcourse, to the ill-educated, or least Pirivena educated rural folk ANYTHING GOES – even BS with a coating of Chocolate, littered seemingly with Gold Lettering if anointed by some FOOLS!
      Never, recalled that we had Import control on Vehicles including LUXURY cars??? Cadillac’s included!!! Until the advent of Sirimavo as PM and FDB as FM in the 60’s and this man is talking about SPECIAL IMPORT LICENCES for MP’s use, from the time of DS Senanayake – from
      (TBC)

    • 3
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      (Part II)
      (So the speaker claims) Independence Day or even 19550’s!!! Import Licenses was the “Mantra” – ‘Password’ invented by successive SLFP governments in power since 1960 onwards to enrich Politicians and Administrators to enrich themselves and NOT BEFORE – it was Open general License (OGL) – YOU GO TO CAR DEALER ‘PAY THE MONEY, ORDER REGISTER COLLECT AND DRIVE’!!!??
      Why aren’t these speakers, not checking facts and content probably politically Interested planting thru’ electronic Media for PUBLIC DISINFORMATION!!!??? MP’s vehicle licenses was started by JRJ in 1977, because there was rampant misuse and abuse of the Government ‘FLEET’ of vehicles used by Parliamentarians, (Fuel, Maintenance and Drivers’ Batta and OT) and No accountability!!!?? Even that was only ONCE in the lifetime of the MP or 6 years duration of his elected tenure!!!??? That was followed steadfastly to the letter until 1994!!! Come again to Power PA admin in 1994 and after, MP’s got multiple permits if HoG required the MP’s vote to pass special legislation Utter bad discipline and lack of accountability!!!???
      Came 2004 and beyond, multiple Armour-plated vehicles for all and sundry claiming, TERRORIST THREAT, which goes on till today, with many decoy vehicles!!!???
      (TBC)

    • 2
      0

      (Part III)
      Who cares about it, because it’s (THE FUNDS) not theirs but the general public (HARD-EARNED – Tax Payers Money and people are WILTING at the high 18% VAT – unable to fund 2 meals for family)!!!
      Fully agree that this MALEVOLENT use of PUBLIC PURSE for supplying MODE OF TRANSPORT to elected MPs and Ministers should be ELIMANATED, STOPPED FORTHWITH including ‘DECOYS AND DECOY VEHICLES’!!!??? Definitely, after 15 years of ending the 30 year War and “Eliminating Terrorism in all its Forms” – These “swear words” are not mine at all!!!?? But that that of the Grand Messiah, Patriarch of our Nation and his able sibling, who ascended to heights of Power, much later, vanquished the Terrorist Enemy – in May 2009!!!
      They SEEMINGLY ARE WORKING ON THE ELECTION 2024 OVERTIME, TARNISHING ALL BEFORE THEM, and MAINLY the United National Party (UNP) AND THEIR GOVERNMENTS for all the ILLS THESE SCOUNDRELS ARE THE PERFIDIOUS ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS AND CONSTRUCTORS!! POLITICAL Scoundrels with no respect nor accountability, accusing, PASSING ON CULPABILITY to the Opposition!!!???
      They are GUILTY OF IT AS MUCH AS THEY ARE OF THE CHINESE LOANS THEY INDULGED IN AS “UNSOLICITED” TO “PROFIT”,
      (TBC)

    • 2
      0

      (Part IV)
      And SUSTAIN GENERATIONS of their PROGENY at the EXPENSE of INNOCENT LANKAN’S!!??
      Do hope that the TV station which broadcast that ILL-INFORMED SPEECH AND BEING ACCOUNTABLE RESCINDS OR AT LEAST A SIGNIFICANT CORRECTION PROVIDED FORTHWITH!!! That is if they are conscientious and altruistic
      OBFUSCATION, the LEAST, not Total SARILEGE Mother Lanka’s History!!!???

      • 0
        0

        Dear Mahila Mahathmaya,
        .
        Thanks for your effort. I read some of your comments with great appreciation.
        Everything he says is not wrong. At the same time, young souls may have good ideas, but the gap between theoretical will and practical difficulties is really big in South Asian systems.
        Our people and their thoughts and minds are controlled by inexplicable myths, beliefs and others cant think of. Hard work and self-contribution are not definitions enough for them to make sustainable gains.
        Looking back I ask for what purpose, the govt spent that much for the free education, with the outcome being no different to those country, that dont offer as such ?
        They are talk champions, but productivity and its wastefulness are secondary to them. What have JVPrs done to this nation during the last 5 decades ?
        .
        It is not easy to change anything in the administration as JVP thinks. Icing or cream of the cake is beautiful, but inside its consistence is not as it is appeared to be. Likewise, it is a garbage dumps if you peep in srilankan politics from that day onwards.
        Anyways, those who have not brought experience, it will be rather diffiult to even maintain the current standards.

  • 3
    0

    The author is correct for Specialist doctors ( or Consultants) in Western countries. But , other doctors’ remuneration is slightly higher than to other health professions such as Nursing, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist etc ( even for Engineers , Accountants etc). Specialists ( consultant) salary is relatively low in SL compared to western countries as claimed by the author. But, Western specialist doctors has to pay for insurance, mandatory continuous professional development ( CPD) etc and the patients are smart to ask questions freely ( not like in Sri Lanka), they can easily take legal actions for inappropriate practice etc. It is unfair to increase the salary for Normal doctors without increasing the salary for other health professions in Sri Lanka.

    The author also argue that doctors has to score high marks to enter the medical faculties in Sri Lanka. But, in Western countries, students has to get high marks in IQ based UCAT tests and Scenario based Interviews on top of high marks in Advanced level. So, he cannot compare SL system with western country system to enter the medical faculties.

    • 0
      0

      Chelvi – That’s a very insightful comment. Why don’t you educate us, the frogs in this well, what the average salaries are in western countries for specialist doctors, other doctors, other health professions such as Nursing, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist etc, and for Engineers , Accountants etc, by giving examples. Thank you.

  • 3
    1

    ”Doctors in Sri Lanka, who are poorly paid compared to other countries, are dissatisfied with the salary cut and have started leaving the country in thousands”
    What a stupid argument. Several doctors I know have migrated due to various reason, children’s education being one but to say they are poorly paid is utter rubbish. Doctors in SL get a free education & even perks like duty concession vehicle permits but up in arm because being asked a paltry Rs 35k in tax. They should be ashamed when even the poorest are subject to stealth taxes & even clerks in the mercantile sector are paying income tax, why shouldn’t doctors who owe a debt to society can’t pay their fair share? It’s not only doctors, others who get University admission or not, have a hard time & are not paid until employed. I did many part time jobs while in University just to survive.
    In UK everybody earning more than £13k PA, pays tax, as well as, National Insurance contributions which pays for health care, etc & contribute to a pension fund. Most junior doctors have a student loan to pay after passing out & earns the same as any other professional, about £27k PA. Whatever the profession, many pay tax at 40%, so these doctors who have been educated at tax payers expense in SL should at least pay their debt to society.
    As for defence spending, it is a matter for the govt. A wasteful corrupt govt. should be ousted

    • 1
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      Cont
      Maybe the NPP with a bunch of trade unions in the membership will sort out the health worker union demands. Wonder if the GMOA is also supporting the NPP

    • 0
      0

      Raj UK,
      .
      “Several doctors I know have migrated due to various reason, children’s education being one…”
      .
      Several doctors you know is not a representative sample to make generalised conclusions.
      .
      “… but to say they are poorly paid is utter rubbish. Doctors in SL get a free education & even perks like duty concession vehicle permits….”
      .
      Despite all of that vast majority of the exodus of the doctors in the recent past I believe is primarily caused by the economic circumstances they have found themselves in. This is not to say other reasons do not matter or factor in.
      .
      There’s no point in comparing with other countries. In other countries even after paying higher rates of taxes, the income left in hand is sufficient for a decent living. What one should take into account is the ground reality in Sri Lanka. Pay and perks doctors receive in Sri Lanka is not sufficient in lot of cases to lead a decent life according to their expectations. A medical rep in a good pharmaceutical company easily gets a better deal compared to most junior doctors. And when opportunities are presented for a better pay and life in general, they migrate. Education of Children matter too.

    • 0
      0

      Raj UK.
      .
      £27K per annum in terms of Sri Lankan rupees oer month amounts to about:
      .
      (27,000 × 407) ÷ 12 = Rs. 915,750/= per month
      .
      I do not know the exact figures but not even a specialist in Sri Lanka get anything close to that in Sri Lanka let alone a junior doctor.

      • 2
        1

        Ruchira,
        “I do not know the exact figures but not even a specialist in Sri Lanka get anything close to that in Sri Lanka let alone a junior doctor.”
        You seem to assume that specialists are all to be found slaving away in state hospitals. Do other state employees have the right to work outside of their jobs, often during “working hours”? Tax-free of course. Let’s comment on reality.
        Everyone has a right to expect a better lifestyle, and in a foreign country if need be. But if one has been trained practically free, doesn’t one have a moral duty to contribute to society? These people already have far above average earnings. They suffer more from avarice than actual economic disability.

        • 1
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          old codger,
          .
          “You seem to assume that specialists are all to be found slaving away in state hospitals”
          .
          Depends on what you call slaving. Specialists provide a consultancy role and is at the upper end of the hierarchy of doctors in a hospital. There are atleast one or two more tiers of junior doctors under them depending on the hospital.
          .
          “Do other state employees have the right to work outside of their jobs, often during “working hours”? Tax-free of course.”
          .
          If you are accusing breaking the law by working in private hospitals during regular work hours, I don’t think that’s the norm but an exception. I don’t think it’s fair to make generalised accusation.
          .
          Tax evasion is larger problem again can not generalise to all specialists and its not just the doctors (ifcthey too are guilty of) evade taxes in Sri Lanka. Tight regulation and comprehensive tax collection is the remedy. It’s not an excuse to under pay doctors.
          .
          “But if one has been trained practically free, doesn’t one have a moral duty to contribute to society? “
          .
          Doctors are not the only ppl educated and trained free. Moral duty therefore applies to everyone. Both me and others have addressed this in other comments here.

          • 1
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            Continued from above…
            .
            “But if one has been trained practically free, doesn’t one have a moral duty to contribute to society? “
            .
            Doctors are not the only ppl educated and trained free. Moral duty therefore applies to everyone. Both me and others have addressed this in other comments here.
            .
            “These people already have far above average earnings.”
            .
            I think that may be true for a few specialists that have built lucrative private practice. But I don’t think even the vast majority of specialists belong to that group. Some doesn’t even do private practice. Some does but with little success.
            .
            “They suffer more from avarice than actual economic disability.”
            .
            I honestly doubt that the case. Your opinion may be biased by few successful specialists. The ones who complain and migrate obviously don’t belong to that category. Some specialists like those who are in the public health sector and specialities like emergency medicine hardly have any private practice.

            • 1
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              Old codger,
              .
              There was a good research report done on private practice among doctors in Sri Lanka, I tried to search it without a success, that sheds light on the pattern of private practice among doctors in the country, both specialists and non-specialists.
              .
              There are genuine concerns of doctors that are not addressed. If they are doing do well here in Sri Lanka, why then have they been migrating by truck loads since of late – economic hardships primarily brought brought on by the new economic conditions. Lowering the tax threshold being one, from which many consultants I believe were hard hit.

              • 2
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                Patriotism has gone out of the window, and People of all categories have become Selfish and Self-centred!!!??? Name sake Patriotic Nationalism by one and all!!!???

                • 0
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                  M
                  You have not heard some interesting views about ‘patriotism’ I think.

                  • 0
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                    SJ – wanna share them?

          • 2
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            Ruchira,
            “If you are accusing breaking the law by working in PRIVATE HOSPITALS DURING REGULAR WORK HOURS, I don’t think that’s the NORM BUT AN EXCEPTION. I don’t think it’s fair to make generalised accusation.”
            1. Government Doctors/Specialists, have been found attending DURING AND OUTSIDE Government Hospital WORKING HOURS!!!??? No other Public servant is so enabled!!!??
            2. Such specialists have been found working in Private institutions – 5 in every 7 specialists! Is that a Norm being majority number, than an exception!!!
            3. Specialists are supposed to be on call, and sure that status is bound to some compromise, which may be ignored as in his day, of video calls and zoom, may be Immaterial!!!??
            Hasten to say, they are privileged lot of 2 Million Public Servants of SL Government – PRIVILEGED!?
            ANY CLAIM TO CONTRARY – BASELESS!!!

            • 1
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              Mahila Mahathmayo,

              what was not promoted through fake patriotism in our hell under Rajapkshes ?

              They put YELLOW PETS before his parades, and injected the germ as nothing can reverse.
              Rajapakshe penses were tatooed on the chest of some radical SINHALAYAs in southern province so that you cant open your voice against them. I was often attacked me being against RAJAPAKSHES…. even my relatives from the south were eternally brainwashed.

              Where had you been at the time bugger et al was promoting lies about their SO CALLED walwwa ?

            • 0
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              ” 5 in every 7 specialists! Is that a Norm being majority number, than an exception!”
              That is a pretty powerful majority to make something seem the norm.

            • 0
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              Kindly provide sources

      • 2
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        Ruchira

        My point is why should doctors have special treatment. Everybody should pay their fair share of tax. In UK, whether it is a doctor, engineer or any other professional, they all start around £25k-27k. A nurse’s starting salary is about £25k, as does a qualified mechanic but a senior nurse or mechanic earns about 40k & more with OT. A senior doctor earns about £75k on average, depending on the length of service & a consultant about £90k, at which stage, pays 40% tax. In SL, why should only some pay for the upkeep of others who are even earning more in salaries & perks? Most SL doctors have been educated at state expense but those who have been educated privately or outside SL are being harassed by the GMOA, concerned about ‘maintaining’ the ‘high SL standards’.
        If I remember correctly, the GMOA even instigated a stone throwing campaign against the free ambulance service, worried that Indian doctors would flood the country &, as a consequence, will lose their monopoly. According to the author, it is OK for the doctors but not for others to demand a salary increase. Doctors may have ‘studied hard’ to gain a MD but the author seems stupid with his grievances of doctors in SL.

        • 0
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          Raj UK,
          .
          You write whole lot of things, but keep missing the points that has been highlighted, over and over.
          .
          I don’t know of any instance where GMOA has been harassing foreign qualified doctors or thrown stones at ambulances. But I know foreign qualified doctors that have been office bearers of GMOA.
          .
          You say: “According to the author, it is OK for the doctors but not for others to demand a salary increase.”
          .
          I don’t think that is what the author is arguing about. He himself has made a couple of comments here, you may want to read before misrepresenting his article.
          .
          As for the ambulance service. People here make a big noise about education given free but jump to embrace anything given free by India.
          .
          There are still unresolved concerns about the said ambulance service, some of which were highlighted at the begining when it was launched.

          • 0
            0

            Continued from above…
            .
            Any trade union would be concerned if their job opportunities are going to be affected. Deliberate attempts to cause disharmony among doctors isn’t a good management strategy.
            .
            The contention was the trade agreement that was planned to be signed with India not the ambulance service per se. In such matters all countries exercise caution to what they agree to and the terms and conditions thereof.
            .
            It is not the GMOA’s or doctors’ fault that Sri Lanka has been run by a bunch of imbeciles for 75 years.

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      Raj UK,
      .
      As for free education, it is not just doctors who get it. All citizens are entitled to free education. If doctors are in debt to the society because they received free education, others are too. Everyone in that case may have to pay their dues, not just doctors.
      .
      That said I think in case of specialist doctors there’s a bond with the government they have to pay if they quit without serving a certain period of time in the govt. Not too sure needs verification.

      • 1
        1

        Ruchira,
        Yes, there is a Bond without Doubt, but Insignificant!!! How much??? Worthless, when you look at OPPORTUNITY COST of replacement!!!
        I fervently believe and there are a few in agreement with me, that Free education must be Limited to GCE (ordinary level) to all students, to keep up government statute all under 16 years must attend school!? All those aspiring GCE (advanced Level) would receive 60% cost reimbursement initially and all A/L students achieving C+ notational Pass the balance 40% on completion!!!??? All degree courses must be Paid in Full at commencement by the student or subsidised Government Loan scheme to be repaid in full within the first 10 Years (120 Months) of their employment tenure within Sri Lanka (Overseas employment only after 10 Years service completion in SL)
        Alternatively, those desirous MAY PAY the FEE as determined by the Government in FULL (5 – Years) and in ADVANCE, before commencement of the course.
        No cost Re-imbursement or Refund, for any leaving the Degree course, (Medicine. Engineering included) before completion!!!???
        Then NONE complains, everyone happy, including Government, would be flush with Money, “Taxpayer Money” used MINIMAL – Help Feed starving masses, Unemployed, Aged, and Poor!!!??? VAT increase would MINIMISED!!!???

        • 0
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          Education should be a right, not a priviledge.

        • 0
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          “Yes, there is a Bond without Doubt, but Insignificant!!!” – Do you know the amount?
          .
          “No cost Re-imbursement or Refund, for any leaving the Degree course, (Medicine. Engineering included) before completion!!!???” – why what about your favourite opportunity cost?
          .
          I firmly believe that education should be a right not a priviledge and policies to be reflective of that and promote education.
          .
          Student debt is a huge issue whereever they are used to finance education.

      • 0
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        Ruchira
        My point is that everybody should pay their fair share in taxes but those who got a free education, have a moral obligation as well. I know several doctors who came to UK for specialised training, after completion, got employment, applied for leave & returned to SL to work a few weeks in govt. hospitals till they got Board certification, thereafter, applied for leave, returned to UK & sent their resignation. Although they worked only for a few weeks, they have technically returned to SL & took up post, therefore, the bond conditions were not applicable.
        Doctors in UK take up medicine because they like the profession but if the objective is to make money, there are other lucrative professions in Finance, Banking & even sales. A salesman in the right trade can out-earn even consultants. Currently, junior doctors are demanding a salary increase but the UK govt, is not budging. They are treated same as others, such as, train drivers who also demanded higher wages.
        Cont.

        • 0
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          Cont.
          Didn’t the GMOA forced the NCMC closure? The medical colleges were closed for 5 years due to strike action & careers were held back. Wealthy students completed their studies abroad while less fortunate students had to take up alternate careers. Probably only a handful who qualified abroad returned but they were discriminated, yet, other who did not return have done exceptionally well. A friend was telling me how tough the ‘Act 16’ or whatever the qualifying exam is for practising in SL, is. The objective seems to be purposely trying to fail foreign qualified students. In fact, even the UK qualifying exams are considered easier.
          I suppose I have been misinformed that the GMOA was against a free public service & maybe The Indians had an ulterior motive in supplying ambulances which the GMOA had the foresight to object. Anyway, the GMOA didn’t have the same fire they had for NCMC when it came to GR’s Kothalawala Academy for the children of Military personnel. I suppose the Kothalawala academy has higher standards.

          • 0
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            Raj UK,
            .
            Your criticisms of the GMOA perhaps are best directed to them as I am no spokes person for the GMOA.
            .
            Again opinion of a few who you know is not an objective assessment of anything. That goes to Act16 too.
            .
            KDU I believe is a government iniative while NCMC is not. Other than that I do not know why the GMOA wiukd treat the two differently. Private medical education is a highly debated issue with many implications and consequences.
            .
            Closure of universities is an indication as to how inept the govts have been. The easiest measure they take without resolving underlying issues to which the students or the unions protest.

        • 0
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          Raj UK,
          .
          “My point is that everybody should pay their fair share in taxes…”
          .
          Is anybody disputing that? The point the author is trying to make is that after paying taxes there’s nothing much left to make ends meet on a day day basis from the meagre salaries the doctors receive.
          .
          “…but those who got a free education, have a moral obligation as well.”
          .
          Everybody in Sri Lanka is entitled to free education. Everybody has moral obligations. Moral obligations are not a priority when you can’t feed yourself or the family.
          .
          I could also paraphrase your statement to say that everybody born and bred in Sri Lanka have a moral obligation to serve the country, not some foreign country because the life is cushy there. How would you find yourself in such a context of moral judgement?
          .
          What are the bond conditions you refer to? I thought they are time bound.
          .
          Expecting a decent salary for the services one privide is within ones own rights. In the case such expectations are not met various ppl resort to various discourses based on options they have and doctors have options.
          .
          Tory party’s intention towards undermining the NHS in favour of privatisation of healthcare in the UK to follow a more American style delivery model is well known. The British public will decide their fate at the next elections.

    • 0
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      9

  • 2
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    for heavens sake if doctors are going out of the country let us bring some doctors in from other countries.Foreign doctors have not been treating cattle,but humans only haven’t they.

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      shankar, You cant bring in doctors likeyou bring sugar and dhall. They have to be willing to work here and also qualify to work according to Sri Lanka set standards to register

      • 1
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        I see that you are capable of some rational thought too…

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        DTG,
        “Also qualify to work according to Sri Lanka set standards to register.”
        The way it is going, taking Chrisantha Perera’s case as example, we would be treated by Lab Technologists and Nurses and Attendants!!!?? Anything and everything else is better than that!!!??? Get some guys from Timbuctoo or wherever, should be better!!!???
        What good Registration, when Medication imported and REGISTERED BY NMRA still “KILLS WITH A STING”!!!??? No difference whatsoever – NOT REGISTERED!!! “TOM FOOLERY” of Sri Lankans!!?

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        david
        if you don’t try to bring them in the first place how would you know what difficulties yu are going to face.The moment the govy contemplates about foreign doctors the doctors here make a big racket but then they go away ,Cant have the cake and….

    • 3
      2

      So foreign doctors will come to provide dedicated service?
      *
      We have to change our priorities.
      Medical practice has become big business that thrives on public ignorance.
      Doctors have become drug peddlers and middlemen for often unnecessary medical investigation.
      We need to make preventive and community medicine priorities, and train more paramedicals to serve public heath islandwide in these sectors.

      • 0
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        your poit about paramedicals is good.The fact that you are skeptical that foreign doctors will provide a dedicated service depends on the management.If the management in a saudi arabian company is lakadaisical s srilankan management is then the srilankan accountant there will go to sleep.When he wakes up if he finds on his table that his contract has been terminated then others will be dedicated.

  • 6
    2

    Not only the medical graduates, all the university graduates in Sri Lanka receive free education and most of them migrate due to various reasons, the main reason being the economic. Then we see those who went overseas  after receiving free education in Sri Lanka and living comfortably expressing their hypocritical views against migration of doctors.  Though there was continuous migration of doctors as happening in other fields, after the salary reduction by increased tax we see a mass exodus of doctors. At least the diaspora person commenting should have some understanding about the ground reality  in Sri Lanka and stop talking about duty free permit vehicles which was stopped several years back. Most of the doctors in Sri Lanka travel by public transport nowadays because of their inability to maintain cars. For a person in UK earning in UK pounds, 35k in SLR is a paltry amount. But for a doctor balancing his hard life  in Sri Lanka, it  is about 15-20% of the total monthly income. 

    • 3
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      Murali, thanks for saving, some of my time. I too belong to the same profession but currently practicing in India, where I received my medical education ( after discontinuing studies in Lanka ). Prior to this I worked in the U.S for years, after completing my post graduation studies and training there. As you mentioned people in Lanka and India ( to my knowledge ), treat doctors indifferently. It’s not doctors alone, who leave country after receiving free education. It’s not even completely free any more in India. There is a basic fee anywhere from 50 to 100 thousand . In addition hostels and food are never free. When it comes to work ethics , payment for services provided ( here in India, in private practice people have unrealistic expectations, if not for free they expect heavy discounts after completing treatment ). People need to realize Doctors too have families and bills to pay. When in need, do they expect the same from their Lawyers , Accountants, Engineers, IT professionals . . . . . . . ?????? Yes few doctors may be overcharging but the public in return too exploits by their unrealistic expectations / demands / ethical standards. People in private practice know, doctors take only 10 to 20% of the final payment and the rest goes to other services , to pay salary of all other staff, maintenance, medications, investigations hospital administration / profits ……………….

      • 2
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        “As you mentioned people in Lanka and India ( to my knowledge ), treat doctors indifferently.”
        True perhaps, but still many worship doctors. the way they do their teachers and clergy
        Is it not truer that most doctors in Lanka and India treat people indifferently.

        • 0
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          “Is it not truer that most doctors in Lanka and India treat people indifferently.” – a culture of masters and slave existing long after slavery has been abondoned by those who practiced it.

          • 1
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            R
            In tradition the teacher and doctor were venerated, and to a good extent deservedly so I would say.
            Today we have mercenaries fleecing the desperate students and the sickly.

            • 0
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              SJ – True.

    • 0
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      ”Most of the doctors in Sri Lanka travel by public transport nowadays because of their inability to maintain cars”
      Maybe because I don’t live in SL anymore but I have yet to see a doctor traveling by bus. Anyway, is it only doctors who are finding it ”balancing” a ‘hard life in Sri Lanka”? Maybe the ”inability to maintain cars” was the reason some sold their vehicle permits at that time. Mercantile employees who paid their PAYE tax didn’t have that privilege, didn’t they having a tough time?

      • 0
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        Raj UK – There are many doctors including specialists that travel by bus and there are those that doesn’t even own a personal vehicle. Private sector employees earn comparatively better salaries.

  • 2
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    Doctors spend many years studying and training, at the expense of deferred or reduced wages. They then consistently work long hours, often 80 or 90 in a week. Therefore, a higher salary is well-deserved.

    • 1
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      *At the expense of higher wages. Also point out that a doctor’s salary is much higher outside of Sri Lanka, even when you account for differences in the cost of living. A doctor in Korea makes half of the average salary of a doctor in the USA, but a doctor in Sri Lanka is makes only about 10% of the average salary of a doctor in the USA. After looking further at the data, one can see that truck drivers and cleaning people in the USA are earning higher salaries than Sri Lankan doctors.

    • 1
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      Are they paid less than any other profession?

      • 0
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        SJ – I think the issue is they not paid enough and they have opportunities elsewhere, so they leave, unlike those who does not have such opportunities.

        • 1
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          You remind me of the response of Prof Kalpage Chairman UGC in 1978 when a group of University academics in the professions asked for a reasonable pay, comparing local wages with those elsewhere.
          He said that if you want more you go abroad, and added to the injury the insult by adding that those who stay here are here because they cannot find a place abroad.
          *
          They collect enough and are plain greedy.

          • 0
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            SJ – Some I’m sure fall into that category. You can see that such an attitude has not benifitted the local university system. The same could happen to the health sector soon.

    • 0
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      “They then consistently work long hours, often 80 or 90 in a week.”
      In their job?
      You must be living in cloud cuckoo land

  • 4
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    Unfortunately by reading the comments, it leaves me with the impression that many don’t want to talk about the elephant in the room, the defense budget.

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      That may be because the author mentions the elephant only in passing.

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        SJ – among other reasons perhaps…

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      I’m sure, you are already aware of the reason why people avoid discussing irrational defense allocation after the end of war and maintaining disproportionate numbers in North and East. Even the prelates ordered President not to cut down forces there.

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        But that doesn’t explain why many whom I believe are tamils that has commented in length has not addressed it. Makes one wonder whose interests they are serving!

    • 0
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      Murali – you may want to look deeper if you are to find an explanation for that. For starters, whose interests that many who comment here align themselves with, is a good question to ask.

      • 1
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        R
        A government that relied heavily on the armed forces for its survival cannot let go of the animal readily.

        • 0
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          SJ – That too.

  • 2
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    chiv

    I am sorry what is happening to the leadership contest of Federal Party?
    Is SJ contesting as Mao Man within Federal Party?
    He should.

  • 2
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    chiv

    I am sorry what is happening to the leadership contest of Federal Party?
    Is SJ contesting as Mao Man within Federal Party?
    He should.

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