PM instructs to obtain services of retired nurses on contract basis
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to obtain the services of retired nurses on contract basis as required. The instructions came during a meeting held at the Temple Trees today (June 09), the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The meeting was called upon the request of Head of Public Services United Nurses’ Union and Chief Sanghanayake of Western Province Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda to discuss the long-term and short-term solutions for the issues faced by nearly 340,000 nurses who are currently serving in the field.
Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero, who expressed his views on increasing the allowances and facilities provided to nurses, also pointed out the issue of untrained nurses being employed in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University Hospital and the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital.
In response, the health minister stated that this issue is attributed to the recruitment of less than 2,000 nurses for training per year. Thereby, the prime minister gave directives to add the work period of these untrained nurses to their training period.
In addition, PM Rajapaksa instructed the officials to introduce short-term training periods for the nurses serving in ICUs.
The focus of the meeting also fell on extending the service period of nurses. Secretary to the Health Ministry, S.H. Munasinghe stated that a Cabinet memorandum to extend the tenure of nurses to 63 years has already been submitted for approval.
Speaking on inoculating the health sector employees against COVID-19, Mr. Munasinghe said administering the second dose of the vaccine to the family members of these workers is currently in progress.
Further, PM Rajapaksa directed the officials to set up a proper mechanism to provide transport facilities for the nurses during the travel-restricted period and to expedite the process of awarding nursing degrees.
It was revealed during the meeting that the matter on nursing degrees has been referred to the Attorney General’s Department for legal drafting.