In 51 raids conducted by the Health Ministry Flying Squad islandwide, around 161 personnel, both medical and non-medical, attached to hospitals are alleged to have defrauded Health Ministry. It was found that 90 medical officers at the Sri Jayawardenapura hospital, including four consultants and 28 non-medical staff at the Maharagama Cancer hospital did not properly maintain diaries and attendance registers.
Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told The Island that when the Flying Squad raided the Maharagama cancer hospital on January 13 (Poya day) they found that the attendance registers had been fraudulently marked at 1.45 p.m.and the respective staff had also left the hospital. He said that the flying squad had subsequently found that staff comprising, accountants,
clerical personnel and administrative officers, had been marking the attendance register the following day as 4.45 p.m. instead of 1.45 p.m. which they had marked previous day.
He said these personnel had also been claiming overtime on the pretext that they had worked previous day and it was found that they had been doing this for the last one year.
Minister de Silva stressed that around 90 doctors including 4 consultant physicians who were supposed to maintain diaries had not been doing so that they could claim overtime and engage in private practice. He said that the flying squad had found that around 15 doctors, who were supposed to be on duty, at the Sri Jayawardanepura hospital at the time of the raid had been missing.
Referring to the duty of doctors, the Minister said that in accordance with Health Ministry Circular, every doctor was required to maintain a diary given to them as a special privilege and added that it had been found that some doctors who had been reporting for duty were attending to personal matter to the neglect of their duty.
He said disciplinary action would be taken against the culprits and it would include discontinuation of annual increments and transference to North and East and peripheral hospitals.