Arts and Commerce students cannot become nurses – Unions

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Nursing trade unions are protesting against the Health Ministry’s decision to recruit A/L students of the commerce and arts streams to the Nursing Schools in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

"This move will only produce unqualified nurses and lower the quality of the nursing service," Saman Ratnapriya, President of the Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) told The Island yesterday.

According to the Nurses’ Serving Minute effected from 01. 11. 2010, only those who did Bio Science, Mathematics and Agriculture streams at the G. C. E. (A/L) could be recruited for nurses training, he said.

"The section 7.2.4 of the nursing minute clearly lays down the recruiting procedure to the service," Ratnapriya said and asked how the Ministry can go against the minute.

Although nursing trade unions oppose the government’s move, he said, the ministry was held interviews to recruit students in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Ampara on July 17, 24 and 25 respectively.

Rathnapriya said that the GNOA decided to stage a protest opposite the Colombo National Hospital on Wednesday (14) as government did not response to their earlier protests which was held opposite the Kalmunai Ashroff Memorial Hospital and Trincomallee hospital.

"We held a discussion with the Health Secretary on August 03 and it was ended without a solution," he said.

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