GMOA re-initiates Tamil teaching for interns

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) would re-initiate the Tamil Language training programme for intern medical officers today (13) at its office after a lapse of four months.

GMOA member, Dr. Udai Gunewardhane said the 11-day Tamil training programme to be held at the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET) in Agalawatte would benefit about 85 pre interns. He said 1,165 pre-interns were to receive the training. However, with the internship appointments to be given in the near future only 400 or so would be able to follow the Tamil language training course, he said.

Dr. Gunewardhane, who is also a member of the Sri Lanka Society of Health Research and Innovation (SLSHRI) said that another batch of 1,200 undergraduates were to pass out shortly. Two batches of preintern doctors would be faced with a dilemma as only fewer than 100 of them could be enrolled for the training programme.

He said the programme had been suspended as the Health Ministry failed to pay the Department of Official Languages for several months. The Health Ministry said it had not received necessary documents.

Dr. Gunewardhane said the GMOA had taken up the issue with the Health Ministry and President Maithripala Sirisena.

The Health Ministry had agreed to pay Rs. 18,000 per medical officer. The total funds allocated were adequate for only four batches, he said.

The GMOA member said the Tamil Language Training Programme was essential for doctors to be able to communicate with Tamil speaking patients.

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