GMOA complains to CID against Health Minister


The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), yesterday, wrote to the head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) asking him to find out whether Health Minister Rajitha Senaratna could be arrested for spending about Rs. 5 billion on Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH)

Secretary to the GMOA, Haritha Aluthge, said in a letter to the CID that the Presidential Commission investigating frauds under the current administration had revealed that the government did not own NFTH. "Wasantha Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, who appeared before the PCoI, also admitted that. Therefore, I request you to conduct an investigation into the misappropriation of public funds and arrest the Health."

Dr. Aluthge added that the CID should also determine who currently owned the NFTH. The government had shelled out Rs. 385 million, in 11 months from August 2017 and July 2018, to maintain the NFTH though it did not own it, Wasantha Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Health told the Presidential Commission investigating frauds under the current administration last month.

It was also revealed that the government had commissioned a feasibility study only in 2019. In February 2019, the Cabinet asked the Health Ministry to come up with a business plan to make NFTH a viable enterprise.

Perera said that when the government decided to take over the NFTH, it was expected to pump in Rs. 200 million per month as recurrent and capital expenditure and Rs. 50 million a month for medical supplies. Perera also revealed, referring to documents, that the tripartite agreement among NFTH, Ministry of Health and the Bank of Ceylon stated that the government would acquire the hospital once Rs. 2.5 billion loan obtained by Fernando was paid in 10 years.

Minister of Health Rajitha Senaratne was not available for comment.

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