Doctors, nurses, staff decide not to give evidence against Dr. Shafi | Daily News

Doctors, nurses, staff decide not to give evidence against Dr. Shafi

The doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and support staff of the Kurunagala Teaching Hospital yesterday decided not to give evidence against Dr. Seigu Sihabdeen Mohamed Shafi who was arrested for allegedly performing illegal sterilization procedures on unsuspecting mothers who come to the hospital for delivery of babies.

The hospital has decided not to give evidence against Dr. Shafi, before a committee appointed by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna to find who are behind this alleged crime of non- consensual sterilization of women.

Minister Rajitha Senaratna said that the doctor in question has allegedly amassed large sums of money and assets through whatever means and the police will determine how he acquired such wealth through their investigations.

“But, we as the Health Ministry must find the truth about the illegal sterilizations that are said to have taken place and those responsible for carrying out such procedures and if others backed it, and if so who they are,” the minister said.

The minister appointed a committee comprising three members from the Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member from the Sri Lanka Medical Council to look into the matter. Consequent to the stance declared by the staff of the hospital that they will not give evidence before the committee appointed by Minister Dr Senaratna, further suspicions have surged against the hospital staff whether they backed the alleged illegal sterilization processes, which Dr. Shafi is said to have performed on mothers.

The Daily News asked Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Directopr Dr. Sarath Weerabandara whether he would give evidence or share what he knows about the non-consensual sterilizations which were carried out in his hospital.

Dr. Weerabandara said that the hospital staff had decided not to talk about anything to do with Dr Shafi with the Health Minister’s Committee. When we asked why and what was preventing them from giving such important evidence to a committee of health professionals regarding a highly sensitive issue, Dr Weerababndara said it the decision of the hospital’s trade union. Asked if they were doing anything about allegations levelled against Dr. Shaffi’s illicit sterilizations, Dr Weerabandara said they have initially started a process of collecting complaints from the parties which were saying that Dr. Shaffi performed sterilizations on them without their consent.

He said they have received 120 complaints from Monday morning up to yesterday evening.


 

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