GNOA goes to Court of Appeal to assert its authority over midwives

The Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) has requested the Court of Appeal to grant it interim relief by restraining, the Director of Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Director Ratnapura Base Hospital and Director Ragama Hospital from allowing the Midwives to enter the Labour Rooms of Maternity Wards to perform their duties without signing the register maintained by Special Grade Nurses at respective hospitals.

The petitioner has also requested the Court of Appeal to compel the aforesaid respondent Directors of Hospitals to comply with Health Ministry Circular dated September 12, 1997 and other circulars issued later on by the Ministry of Health dated, May 14, 18, 2014, which stipulates that the primary responsibility in the supervision, administration and discipline in labour rooms rests with Special Grade nurses.

The GNOA office bearers have added that the institutional midwives could work in labour rooms, as well as in maternity wards, under the supervision and the administration of the Special Grade nurses, as provided by the ministerial circular.

The midwives had received training only in relation to normal child delivery and they were neither competent nor qualified to handle child delivery that required specialised attention and care such as Forceps Vacuum Delivery and Caesarian child birth, which needed the care of specialised nurses, the petition has said.

Among the petitioners are Saman Rathnapriya, President Government Nursing Officers Association, Nalaka Hettiarachchi its secretary and a few others.

The first respondent is the Secretary to the Ministry of Health.

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