GMOA perturbed over cuts in Nurses’ Service Minutes

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association has asked Healthcare Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu to produce a clear Nurses’ Service Minute, passed by the Cabinet, as some of the provisions in it have not been those passed by the Cabinet.

The Cabinet appointed a Committee to evaluate the provisions, in the Minute, that it had not passed. The GMOA has suggested that former SPC Chairman Rajith Maligaspe and Sri Lanka Medical Council Chairman Prof. Lalitha Mendis be appointed to committee.

GMOA Media Secretary Dr. Mahesh Epa told The Island that the passed Nurses’ Service Minute was rather controversial as 40 job descriptions had been deleted from the list of 54 and the GMOA wanted to know from the Ministry why this had been done.

Dr. Epa said that Rajith Maligaspe and Prof. Lalitha Mendis were the most qualified persons to be on the Committee as they could technically evaluate and make suggestions accordingly. The reduction of duties from the Service Minute had caused anxiety among doctors and the GMOA was of the view that nurses would refuse to go on ward rounds with doctors.

He said doctors could not depend on attendants to treat patients. It was the duty of nurses to attend to the medical needs of patients, he said.

He said if the nurses thought that they were superior to doctors, they had made a mistake because a doctor was a person who had been trained in medical science to treat, refer and prescribe drugs to patients.

Secretary to the Healthcare Ministry Dr. Ravindra Ruberu said that only the promotional scheme of the Service Minute had been approved by the Cabinet and Training scheme of nurses would be approved after the technical Committee on evaluation was appointed. Any professional organisation could propose names to the Cabinet to be included in the Committee, he said.

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