Docs want school dedicated to train midwives

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has urged authorities to establish a national institution to train midwives under the guidance of college of Obstetricians to overcome the shortage of 3,800 midwives at present.

GMOA Committee member Dr. Nalinda said that training of a nurse required Rs. 1.8 million and three years while training a midwife required only Rs. 1.1 million and one-and-a-half years. Further, producing a nurse with both midwifery and nursing training would cost approximately Rs. 2.9 million and four-and-a-half years. The above 3,800 vacancies could be filled with midwives rather than ‘midwifery trained nurses’ at half the cost and half the time duration, he said.

Midwifery recruitment, training and service delivery were currently administered by nurses and therefore the nurses had created an unhealthy situation to further their interests, Dr. Herath said.

He stressed that the overall clinical responsibility was vested in the obstetrician as the head of the unit. The GMOA felt that this was not just a tussle between two trade unions – nurses and midwives.

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