Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella said that the recent circular issued by the Health Secretary, limiting the freedom of Health professionals to make comments to the media, was issued in order to prevent any misleading statements from being made regarding the country’s health sector.
Speaking during Ada Derana’s current affairs programme ‘At HydePark’, Rambukwella explained the Health Secretary has to intervene if the health sector employees fail to adhere to the establishment code which outlines the code of conduct pertaining to public employees.
In response to a question raised, whether the circular was issued in an attempt by the government to coverup any shortcomings, the Minister expressed that people can make different statements and that the statements’ authenticity must be considered.
“Therefore, somebody must hold responsibility, if they make a statement.”
Rambukwella further claimed that there is an establishment code for the government administrative sector, adding that once the code is breached, the ministry’s secretary has the right to write to them, informing them to obtain permission from department heads, before making any statement.
Furthermore, it was also questioned whether this system was not in place thus far. In reply, the minister asserted that such earlier statements were made by the health directors with permission and the consent.
“I think that some people are trying to use health as a very sensitive area to bring another agitation in the country,” he charged.
However, the minister, who claimed that the recent statements made by the health sector trade unions were completely false, also added that misleading statements can unfavourably affect the health sector.