Doctors urged the Health Ministry to expedite the process of issuing and implementing the circular granting special leave for doctors in the State service to seek foreign employment opportunities while remaining in service.
Media Committee Member of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe yesterday (8) said, the union had even complained to President Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding the unwanted delay, as the circular was still pending the approval of the Health Secretary. It had been amended and made service specific as the medical service was an All-Island service and ensured quality and equity.
Necessary requirements and criteria were introduced as a result. He said, the basis of the circular was that which had been issued by the Ministry of Public Administration.
He noted that the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, Manusha Nanayakkara too had pledged to support medical professionals by through government to government agreements for medical professionals. Currently, doctors have to find foreign job opportunities by themselves.
Dr. Wijesinghe said however, that to do anything the Health Secretary had to place his signature and it had to be implemented. It would not only stop medical practitioners from leaving the country all together, having resigned from their jobs, but would also help Sri Lanka to obtain the dollars. Medical practitioners would also gain experience working abroad. They would also not lose their seniority as they would be given no-pay leave to work abroad for a certain period, he added.
By Dilanthi Jayamanne