Fast-track leave approval to take up foreign jobs

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Doctors urged the Government to fast-track the process of leave approval for medical practitioners and other health employees to take up foreign employment during this crisis.

President of the Medical and Civil Rights Professional Association of Doctors (MCRPAD), Dr. Chamal Sanjeewa said yesterday (22), young doctors were opting to leave the island for greener pastures, without going through the three-year probation period as post interns.

Those who pass examinations conducted either by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) or the General Medical Council (GMC) qualify to work in Australia or the United Kingdom. Medical practitioners as well as other employees in the state health service also follow courses in elderly care or home care to leave the country in search of better prospects. He said a large number of health service employees submitted leave applications to the Health Ministry to take up foreign jobs.

Health employees under Provincial Government had lengthier procedures to follow, as their applications had to be tendered through the provincial government health authorities to the Health Ministry. It exhausts the health employee to the extent that some opt to resign from their state health service jobs and migrate for the particular job offer or leave the country without informing the Ministry.

The MCRPAD President urged the Government to fast-track the process under the present strained conditions of the country and its political instability to approve the leave. “The rigidity of the rules and regulations with regard to the bonds that the health employees have to sign before leaving the country should also be relaxed, so that those leaving would want to return to the country after completing their contract period,” he said.  

By Dilanthi Jayamanne