Dire need for doctors in rural hospitals ignored: UNP MP

Saturday, 9 March 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama

Our Lobby Correspondent

Ignoring the dire need for doctors in rural hospitals, 104 physicians have secured vacancies at the Ministry of Health in Colombo for non-medical posts, according to United National Party MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam.

“Statistically we have only 71 doctors for 100,000 Sri Lankans. Why do you want such large number of doctors in the Ministry for administration? The personal assistant of the Director General Medical Services is also a doctor. There are disparities as well. In the Children’s Incentive Care Unit at Karapitiya Hospital, there are only four beds but it also has four doctors. Is it really necessary to have four?” exposed MP Kariyawasam.

In response, Deputy Minister of Health Lalith Dissanayake said: “No rural hospital has been closed down due to the absence of doctors. Non-clinical post graduate doctors have been appointed to discharge essential medical duties within the Ministry premises. Doctors’ transfers have to be made according to the agreements made with their unions.”