Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 02 October 2016





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

All cast aside - but the stethoscope!

The Hippocratic Oath is solemnly parroted when medical interns become fully fledged doctors. It is a long oath and there are several versions, ancient and modern, but within it come these sentiments: “I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to lying and wrong doing. I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art.”

And, there is much more about selfless service, healing the sick always, being blameless as far as possible. All thrown overboard now!

The Oath was first written in Greek script by Hippocrates or, students of his, between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE.

Solemnly taking some of what was inscribed then as a medical oath was excellent to give new medical practitioners a sense of how they should perform - with integrity, selflessness, treating all patients equally and giving prime consideration to the patient, not oneself, the healer.

We, older ones, knew doctors of this type. Even today there are plenty doctors of compassion, integrity and high principles, but unfortunately the traits now becoming more and more visible, especially among the younger ones and not the specialists, are the opposites of these and resemble those of corrupt politicians. And where are these negatives most discerned now? It is in their large, representative trade union, the Government Medical Officers Association. Sad, no?


This cat snarls her strong disapproval of threats by the GMOA to work to rule, if not full strike action, not caring a jot for sufferers in hospital OPDs and very ill patients awaiting urgent surgery.

They seem to strike for anything and everything thus resembling the so-called Joint Opposition which shouts about this, that and the other matter, just to vilify Yahapalanaya.

The GMOA is sticking its thumb in too many pies. Any connection between the two bodies?

We, the public, cannot understand why the GMOA protests so vociferously against the private medical college – SAITM.

We had thought more doctors are needed in the country; doctors who had passed out would be more sympathetic to those who failed to gain entrance to the government medical colleges. So we, in our ignorance of human nature and political slants, thought the practicing doctors in this country should encourage more doctors being trained and be glad of an opportunity for aspiring medical students to undergo learning and training by paying fees and having that money retained in the country and not spent abroad.

But we were wrong. Those very doctors who had their entire medical education up to the MBBS free are acting like dogs in the manger. Sorry to be so blunt but it is a true estimation.

What a lowering of standards of practicing medical doctors to align themselves with protesting university and medical students who are being educated at government expense.

What an uproar trying to debar these private medical students of their clinical training and then pointing fingers of accusation that their medical degrees are inferior and they are insufficiently trained.

Special privileges

Now the ‘gentlemen’ of the GMOA threaten strike action asking for entrance to the best schools for their children, no matter where they live! They seem to all want Visakha Vidyalaya for their daughters and Royal and Ananda Colleges for sons.

‘Aney, too much!’ This feline spits out a common-or-garden expression to show her derision. And adds: ‘Who do they think they are?’ Doctors probably render greater human service than other professionals as they cure the sick and save the very sick. But it is their duty to do the above-mentioned not expecting greater rewards and their offspring to be treated specially. If all doctors had their young children accepted to Grade I classes in Visakha Vidyalaya and Royal College, there would be no room for any other parents’ children.

The action most shocking and most revealing of their true natures and make-up was when they spent a night of protest in the Education Minister’s office, emulating their breed of Parliamentarians who protested, sprawled as if they were drunk and sated with food, in the sacrosanct Parliament chamber. The docs went two steps further down the pallang of degeneration. They called for a doctor and ambulance to treat one of their weak darlings who had fainted. A possible ruse to get food and drink inside to sustain them in the fight for the welfare of their offspring.

Doctor, heal thyself! Behave like persons on whom the government has spent billions for generations of doctors giving a sound medical education.


This feline remembers the trials and tribulations undergone by parents and families to get a child admitted to one of the bigger schools in a city in Sri Lanka forty to fifty years ago.

They moved to live as close as possible to the school of their choice, and often cramped themselves into a tiny ‘annex’ residence. No high-rise flats available then.

One remembers how a senior teacher in the Primary School of Royal College would go to all the addresses given by selected applicants to see whether they were honest declarations. So when parents went with their darlings on the first day of school, most on foot, there was a huge mix of little ones – proportionate to ethnicity, irrespective of economic status of parents. No bias, no prejudice, no cheating tolerated.

This was the time when honesty prevailed; when principals and headmasters and headmistresses observed rules to the letter. Then came corruption, mild, at first. New Grade I students could be seen clambering into buses with distant destinations such as Moratuwa et al.

Parents had cheated with false addresses. Nowadays things are slicker: parents register newborns in a bought or borrowed address close to the school of their choice. We, older parents, suffered much but have the satisfaction of having been honest and never teaching our five-year-olds to lie about their homes.

The medical general practitioners of today want everything handed them on golden platters: tax free car import licenses, best schools, unlimited private practice and even government policy on regional trade and education decided on according to their wishes! Are they demigods just because we people depend on them in our hours of dire sickness? Are they so special simply because they have a stethoscope strung around their thickening necks?!

- Menika


eMobile Adz

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | World | Obituaries | Junior |


Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2016 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor