The Government Medical Officers’ Association has informed the Minister of Health, Keheliya Rambukwella that the failure of the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health to fulfill six key responsibilities has adversely affected the prevailing coronavirus outbreak.
The GMOA said the Epidemiology Unit had failed to discharge its duties in areas of Disease Surveillance, Outbreak Control, Vaccination Coordination, Clinical Management Coordination, Operational Research and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Issuing a statement, the GMOA said the epidemiological control process has been hampered due to the independent and arbitrary actions of two Chief Physicians of the Epidemiology Unit, the Director General of Health Services and the Deputy Director General of Health Services.
The Association suggested the main responsibilities of the Epidemiology Unit must fall under the auspices of the Deputy Director General of Public Health, six Committees consisting of Epidemiologists and relevant specialists and under direct supervision of the Director General of Health Services.
The GMOA is of the view that this will help mitigate the pandemic based on more scientific and technical decisions and prevent a fifth coronavirus wave.
It also said the Health Ministry must be empowered to provide factual information on the pandemic as the non-medical sectors which support the mitigation process are sometimes seen providing false information to the public when providing medical advice.