CMC short of medical personnelAugust 10, 2012, 9:35 pm
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council said yesterday that its Health services were badly handicapped due to the dearth of staff to man its five maternity homes and 13 clinics.
Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that 70 percent of the city’s pregnant mothers received health care facilities from the Public Health Department.
Dr. Kariyawsam said the PHD conducted antenatal, post natal, infant, pre- school and family planning clinics. It required at least six more doctors and twenty more nurses for smooth functioning of Council health services. There were seven doctors available and they have to serve in the clinics as well as the maternity homes. However, three of them were on transfer orders to the Health Ministry.
There were 29 vacancies for nursing staff he said. There are 59 family health workers (FHW), but Dr. Kariyawasam said that 18 of them were on transfer. As majority of them were from the Southern province they wanted transfers to their hometowns. The council requires at least 84 midwives to enable it to provide health care facilities to the city. It needs FHW from the Colombo District rather than from other provinces so that they could be available at all times.
He said that the government standards were one FHW for 3,000 Sri Lankans. The Colombo City has a population of approximately 700,000. The laboratory services – especially for testing of pregnant mothers - suffered as there was a need for more medical laboratory technologists as well.
Dr. Kariyawasam said the work load that doctors, nurses and FHW had to bear influenced their desire to leave. They not only had to serve in the maternity homes but also in the clinics.
There have been no recruitments for the past 20 years. Many of the health staff under the CMC PHD were on the verge of retirement. The Council received health staff from the Provincial Council. The PC is allocated health professionals and workers by the Health Ministry.
However when contacted the Health Ministry spokesman said there were a large number of health facilities available within the government and private sector health institutions and that there was very little need for the people of Colombo to seek treatment from the Council. He said that the dearth of medical personnel was for more acute in other parts of the country rather than in Colombo.
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