By: Isuru ParakramaColombo (LNW): In the backdrop where medical officers leaving the country seeking greener pastures is nothing new, doctors leaving Sri Lanka should be viewed as a positive move, for they should be sending mandatory foreign currency back to the country, the Government Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) said.
Media reports on hospitals and units being shut down as a result of medical officers and specialists leaving the country are part of a staged political drama, carefully orchestrated by a group of consultants who wish to continue working beyond the recently declared retirement age, the GMOF disclosed in a statement.
Sri Lanka being miserably failed to produce human resources for the Health Sector adequately to export the excess, the government should increase the output by nine medical faculties established across the country, the Union emphasised.
Full Statement:Doctors leaving out of the country seeking greener pastures is nothing new. It is said around 500 doctors have left the country during the last one year alone.Is it new information?As far as we know, since the 80s every year considerable numbers of doctors have been leaving out of the country. So what is new?Only the organised media cry attributed the reason as economic crisis plus political instability in the country. It is absolutely fake.We are wondering why the story of deteriorated human right status is still not proclaimed as one of the main reasons.We as GMOF see the doctors leaving the country out as a positive move. We need those doctors sending mandatory foreign currency back to the country. They do pay bond money to the country.So then what’s wrong?We have miserably failed to produce human resources for health adequately to export the excess. But still we are not too late. We need to increase the output by 9 medical faculties in the country. It’s a huge investment. However, stories circulating in the media that hospitals are being shut down due to lack of doctors and units getting closed as a result of specialists leaving the country is a staged drama. It’s not only a political drama but also a well orchestrated set up by 249 consultants who want to continue working beyond retirement age. The government policy is 60 years as the age for compulsory retirement.But those who want to overstay need justification. Hence it is created. Even the Cabinet is in a dilemma. Should we extend it beyond 60 years? If we do it well we get to do it to all as a policy.Why not nurses? Paramedics?Do you think specialists are scarce only in health care?What about Engineering? SLAS officers. Yes of course establishment code already provides provision to retain those ultry specialists beyond 60 years by offering annual contracts.Then why change the whole country’s Policy?One thing that the Health Ministry has failed to identify is the hidden agenda of this request. Those who have aged are now occupying the best hospitals in the country. NHSL, LRH, Castle, Kalubowila, Karapitiya, Kandy, Jaffna, Anuradhapura, etc. These stations are associated with lucrative private practices. Hence the story behind the cry.What has happened as a result is that young specialists have to serve peripheries in the remote areas in the so-called difficult low facility areas for a prolonged period. As a result the children of those young specialists have no good schools. Hence who leave the country are young doctors, not the old.Over to you the government, that it is your weakness in the policy adherence that created the unnecessary exodus if it happens in future.