Right of reply
WITH reference to the report headlined 'Doctors want Governor to
Probe Tender Board decision' in the Daily News of January 5, North
Central Province Provincial Director of Health Services Dr. W. Atapattu
said some contents were misleading and he felt the need of making a
statement on the procurement of dialysis machines by the Department of
Health Services, North Central Province.
Dr. Atapattu said: "The Department of Health Services NCP, tendered
for the procurement of four units of dialysis machines and one unit of
water treatment plant in July 2005.
Three suppliers bidded on the tender and the price difference between
the lowest and highest was Rs. 660,000 on one machine.
For the water treatment plant all three bidders offered same branded
machines with the same model, the highest and lowest price difference
was Rs. 400,000 for the same model.
Machines quoted by all three suppliers had fulfilled the requirements
of the specification which was produced with the consultation of the
Division of Biomedical Engineering Services, Colombo.
Out of the three machines quoted, expect the lowest one, the other
two machines contained additional features which were not included in
the specifications and those features were not mandatory to the
treatment purpose due by the said machines.
The Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) appointed on this tender
comprised Director of the General Hospital Anuradhapura, an Accountant
and the Biomedical Engineer NCP.
The recommendation made by the end-users of the said machines being
physicians were reflected through the Director of the General Hospital
Anuradhapura to the TEC.
The TEC recommended the machine quoted the highest price, considering
the availability of similar machines in the government hospitals of this
country, additional features available and the after sales services
delivered in the past by the supplier.
The Tender Board which was chaired by the Chief Secretary NCP, an
Accountant, Secretary of Health NCP and Provincial Director of Health
NCP spotted the difference of the cost between the lowest and highest
while all three types of machines were fulfilling the requirements of
As result, an audit was carried out to probe the repercussions
encountered on the similar machines supplied in year 2002 (the lowest
bidded type of the present tender) to the General Hospital Anuradhapura.
Audit revealed the fact that the lowest bidded type of machines
supplied to the General Hospital Anuradhapura were functioning smoothly
over three years since 2002 and became out of order since early January
It was also revealed that the machines were serviced and repaired by
the relevant company for the requests made from the General Hospital
Anuradhapura but the service agreement has not been signed for these
Therefore, the Tender Board decided to go for the lowest offer
considering, the Audit report, compliance to the requested
specifications and the financial saving of nearly Rs. 3 million to the
It was also revealed that the recommended machines are still
manufactured by the principal manufacturer in Sweden and they have
specified that the year of manufacture for this model is 2001.
Staff at the Dialysis Unit of the General Hospital Anuradhapura was
trained in India for the relevant brand of the dialysis machine and the
supplier intends to train the staff at the Dialysis Unit in General
Hospital Polonnaruwa too."
Our correspondent says:
The Provincial Director of Health Services in the North Central
Province Dr. W. Atapattu has sent a clarification on our report 'Doctors
Want Governor to probe Tender Board decision' claiming that some
contents of the report could mislead the public but Dr. Atapattu has not
pointed out what he thought could mislead the public.
The report was based on a letter submitted by the consultant Doctors
to Governor Dr. Jagath Balasuriya. However 'the right to reply 'we carry
the Provincial Health Director's clarification'.
Right of reply:
Is patriotism the last refuge of a pseudo patriot?
THE Daily News, of January 19 carried a rejoinder to my article,
Patriotism the last refuge of a pseudo patriot with the above headline,
by a Kehlliya Hullugalle.
He should first get his facts straight before he starts making
allegations. He says that Rupesinghe brought out hoards of people onto
the streets against President J.R. Jayewardene's Peace Accord with
India. He surely is mistaken since I was out at the country during this
I am sure he is referring to the 'hoards of people' the JVP and other
so called "patriotic" forces brought into the streets against the
Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. To set the record straight, I for one did welcome
the Indo - Sri Lanka Accord as providing a framework for the resolution
of the conflict.
I had also been appalled by the manner in which the Indian Government
was treated by the Premadasa Government and the insult that India
received still remains a traumatic experience for both sides.
I have no comments to make on the rest of his ideas and he is
entitled to his opinion. I would however caution him to get his facts
straight before he embarks on such diatribes.