If there are objections to the Health Ministry-appointed investigative body looking into the allegations of forced sterlisation against controversial gynaecologist Dr. Mohamed Safi, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) should carry out its own independent inquiry, a Government spokesman said yesterday.
Speaking to journalists at Temple Trees, Development Strategies and International Trade Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara said the onus is on the SLMC to come forward and investigate the allegations.
“This is a medical matter. The SLMC says they have yet to receive a formal complaint, but it is up to them to take the initiative and investigate this. I don’t think the SLMC needs to receive a complaint to carry out an investigation as it is responsible for all doctors in the country,” he said.
Noting that a group of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital staff had protested the investigative body appointed by the Health Ministry, Bandara said the SLMC was best qualified to step in.
“It would be best if the SLMC were to carry out an independent, scientific investigation and, if Dr. Safi is found guilty, take action against him,” said the Deputy Minister.
“If he is guilty, we have to give him the maximum punishment possible. But we cannot jump to conclusions without a proper investigation. Let’s not drag this issue, because that only serves to create more fear in society. So the SLMC must come forward,” he added.
Bandara also cautioned against parties with no expertise on the matter commenting on what is strictly a medical issue.
“People who are not doctors including Buddist monks shouldn’t be issuing statements. If there is no confidence in the Ministry’s body, appoint an independent body. But let’s not crucify him without an investigation. The SLMC needn’t wait for a complaint,” he said.