Docs, MoH seek to curtail brain drain

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Doctors are collaborating with the Ministries of Health (MoH), Foreign Employment and Public Administration to look into possibilities of curtailing the brain drain through a scheme which would enable medical practitioners to serve in a foreign country, for a certain period, after which they should return. 

Media Committee Spokesman for the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe said the GMOA was discussing possibilities of sanctioning foreign employment opportunities for Sri Lankan doctors through government to government agreements. The proposed scheme would not leave room for the Sri Lankan health system to collapse either. He pointed out that in mid-June the Cabinet had green flagged a rule, which enabled State employees to take up foreign jobs, by granting them a five-year period of no pay leave sans the impact to their seniority and pension.  What is happening at the moment is that medical practitioners are resigning from their jobs and leaving the country for good in search of greener pastures. “But, with a scheme such as this it would enable our local medical practitioners, to work for a certain time in a foreign country and earn while Sri Lanka too would benefit from the foreign revenue that they send to the country,” he explained.

Dr. Wijesinghe said that currently there were Sri Lankan doctors serving in the Middle East, who had had to leave their jobs in order to accept the foreign employment opportunities, they had received.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne