Docs insured against occupational hazards

In a bid to protect interns, an Insurance Scheme for occupational hazards was introduced yesterday.

On January 20, 2012 the GMOA had written to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena explaining the necessity of implementing an Insurance Scheme. Following the letter Minister Sirisena had a discussion with the union and agreed to implement an Insurance Scheme for interns as they were not entitled to a salary or insurance scheme, the GMOA said.

GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya told The Island that of late 13 medical officers, including interns, had died of dengue as they were exposed to germs, bacteria and viruses in the hospitals. Although doctors had insurance from occupational hazards, interns did not have any insurance. Interns were not paid a salary either. An intern was only paid Rs.25,000 as an allowance per month.

He pointed out that interns, were exposed to various diseases as they were expected to be on 24-hour duty for a year. During their services they had to deal with different types of patients, thus facing enhanced risks. Although other medical officers and the public officials were entitled to the ‘Agrahara Insurance Scheme’, the interns had to serve without an Insurance Scheme.

He said that the GMOA had also asked Minister Sirisena to pay adequate compensation to intern Dr. Hasitha Prasanjith Ranasinghe who died of dengue at the Kalutara Nagoda hospital recently.

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