The public administration system that is in operation is rigid. However, there is no proper implementation of the existing system. The best way to tackle this problem is to effect changes to it, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe told The Island yesterday.
Political interference, he said, had had a detrimental impact on the public administration system rendering it inefficient and ineffectual.
He challenged the assertion that public servants were not honest, hard working, irresponsible and simply not interested in doing any work. `This is not entirely true, because there are dedicated officers in the government sector. We need to make tangible changes. The heads of department should be responsible for the conduct of our staff members,` he said.
Dr. Abeysinghe is one of the senior administrators who strongly resisted the introduction of the finger print attendance register for health workers. It would not improve the efficiency of the service, he said, pointing out that it would antagonise a section of the staff as it could not be implemented at all levels in the health sector.
He emphasised that the heads of department should be held responsible for their staff as well as the signing of the attendance register. `If we are to introduce finger print machines then who will take the responsibility for irregularities?` he queried.
He said what was needed was a cohesive policy and its implementation without any politician or any political party trying to gain mileage. He said wrong remedies could prove to be counterproductive and no attempt should be made to play to the gallery at the expense of meaningful action to solve problems through proper management.
`We have an excellent health system. Any criticism should be constructive but not destructive. The solution is definitely not privatization. Better management of the health sector and a productivity based approach will enable us to achieve positive results,` he said.