Retirement age should apply to Health top brass too – Kumudesh

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The College of Medical Laboratory Science Sri Lanka (CMLSSL) stressed that the retirement age of State workers, announced by the President, in the Interim Budget 2022, should be applicable for the specialist medical service, two ‘Additional Secretary’ positions and eight ‘Deputy Directors General’ positions in the Health Ministry, just like other State sector employees.

CMLSSL President Ravi Kumudesh yesterday (5) noted however that there were more than 50 qualified medical administrators to fill those vacancies. They have been trapped at the secondary level for a long period, unable to move up the line in the medical administration service, he observed noting that further extension of the age of retirement would only prolong this crisis.

Extending the age of retirement and thereby increasing the number of employees by 20% is a very dangerous challenge the country faces considering the present economic environment and conditions of international organisations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He noted the government was merely courting further hardships by restricting recruitment of newly-passed graduates citing difficulties in payment and retaining those who are due for retirement. The moment an organisation like the IMF calls for restructuring, the Government would only have to adopt harsh measures like calling for retirement and retrenching its work force, the CMLSSL President pointed out.  

“The decision is advantageous to enable the flow of the medical administrative service and to modernise administrative decisions based on new knowledge,” he observed. But inaccurate information is presented to the President and the Secretary of Health since several officials who are above 60 years of age made the representations regarding the Health Ministry.

Kumudesh further noted that about 90% of the specialist medical service in hospitals illustrate the same characteristics as the afore-mentioned medical administrative service mechanism as qualified specialist doctors with new knowledge strategies  were forced to remain behind the lines for a long time, discouraging them enough to leave the country.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne