The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has threatened to launch an islandwide strike from July 11, unless the government repeals Medical Services Regulatory Commission Act.
The GMOA demands that the Ministry come up with a feasible method to nab errant doctors and quacks in the country.
A GMOA spokesman, contacted for comments yesterday, said unless the government withdrew the new law, its members would be compelled to stop both their regular work and private practice.
The spokesman said that the talks were in progress with the doctors engaged in full time private practice to put up a united front against the Medical Services Regulatory Commission Act.
He said that the GMOA had written to Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, drawing his attention to what was termed the ill-effects of the Act and requested an appointment with him to clarify its position further. The minister had been avoiding a meeting with the GMOA, he charged.
The GMOA said that the Commission at issue had been set up for political reasons.
The decision to launch the strike was taken at a special Ex-Co meeting of the GMOA on Saturday.
The Ministry of Health says there are around 25,000 quacks in the country.
After the implementation of the Private Medical Services Regulatory Commission Act, all the private medical services and the practitioners should be registered with the Private Medical Services Regulatory Commission. The Ministry hoped to apprehend the illegal medical service providers and the bogus medical practitioners, a spokesman for the ministry said.
He said many of these bogus doctors were operating in rural areas.
`Some operate without any qualifications while others possess qualifications in other fields. All of them are liable to a fine of Rs. 25,000 or a jail term or both, according to the new law,` he said.
All private medical institutes including hospitals, nursing homes, laboratories as well as full time and part time private medical practitioners have to obtain registration under the Private Medical Services Regulation Commission.