GMOA accuses Ministry of overruling Minister



By Don Asoka Wijewardena


The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday accused the Health Ministry officials of overruling Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s decision.


GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soysa said that while Minister Sirisena had appointed a technical committee last week to get an expert opinion on the duties between the nurses and the midwives in the labour rooms.the Health Ministry wanted to resume the midwifery training for nurses at the Nurses Training Schools.


He pointed out that in accordance with provisions in the Medical Ordinance section 54, the midwives were entirely responsible for delivering duties in the labour rooms. The nurses had no right to perform duties in the labour rooms whatsoever.


Dr. Soysa added that Public Service United Nurses Union President Muruththettuwe Ananda thera had announced that the Health Ministry would recommence midwifery training for the nurses, as it had only been put on hold until the opinion of the technical committee was arrived at. But he was influencing the Ministry to commence the training as soon as possible.


When contacted PSUNU Vice President D. Boralessa said that at a recent discussion held with the representatives of the Ministry, GMOA and Nurses unions it had been agreed to accommodate at least 50 per cent of the nurses at training schools to get midwifery training.


He pointed out that GMOA had no right to block the promotional prospects of nurses, because the nurses were aware of the ulterior motives of the GMOA. The nurses had all the qualifications to attend to labour room duties. When the patients in the labour rooms developed any type of medical complications such as high blood pressure, pre-mature births. It was the nurses who were responsible for the patients’ health. The midwives assisted the delivery of babies and they should hand over the babies to the wards.


Boralessa added that the Constitution of Sri Lanka had clearly said that every citizen in the country had the right to education irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The GMOA was trying its best to eliminate nursing education, especially degree programmes for nurses. Because when the nurses possessed higher qualifications, their emoluments also would be higher.


When contacted for comment, Deputy Director General (nursing) Dr. Sunil de Alwis said that midwifery training for nurses had been halted for the time being until the opinion of the technical committee was received. He had called the nursing director for a meeting with the nursing unions and the GMOA representatives over the issue.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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