Health Secy. blasts nurses’ union

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka yesterday dismissed the allegations levelled against the Ministry by what he called a certain nurses’ union in the State health sector.

He warned the unnamed union not to mislead the people by spreading false information. The particular union had said that the Health Ministry had delegated the responsibility of recruiting and training nurses to the provincial councils, Dr. Jayathilaka said.

The second allegation levelled by that union was that the recruitment and training of nurses would in future depend on the whims and fancies of politicians. The Health Secretary said the Health Ministry would never delegate the responsibility to provincial councils to either recruit or train nurses.

Dr. Jayathilaka said: "As the Secretary of the Ministry I dismiss the allegations levelled against the Ministry. The Ministry will recruit and train nurses. Those who have passed the GCE A/L in science subjects we will be recruited and trained on the basis of their Z-score. We will not allow either provincial councils or politicians to meddle with the normal procedure."

Although Dr. Jaythilaka did not name the union he flayed, his reference was obviously to the Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA). The GNOA accusations have also been condemned by the Public Service United Nurses’ Union.

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