The Prime Minister’s Office announced on Wednesday that retired nurses would be re-employed on a contract basis as needed.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa made this remark at a meeting held today at Temple Trees at the request of the chairman of the Public Services United Nurses Union Chief Sangha of the Western Province, Ven. Murutthettuwe Ananda Nayaka Thera.
Approximately 34,000 nurses are currently employed throughout the island, and the purpose of this meeting was to discuss short and long-term solutions and suggestions to the problems they are currently facing.
The Minister of Health, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, stated that this situation has arisen as a result of the fact that less than 2000 nurses are currently recruited for training each year.
The Prime Minister directed that the time unskilled nurses are currently working in these units be added to their training period. Furthermore, the Prime Minister advocated for the implementation of short-term training programs for the Intensive Care Unit.
SH Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, stated that 840 nurses have already received short-term intensive care unit training, and an accelerated training program will be implemented for nearly 1000 more.
SH Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, revealed that the Cabinet Memorandum to extend nurses’ tenure to 63 years has been submitted to the Cabinet for approval.
The Prime Minister recalled that all health workers were doing an outstanding job in the face of the Covid epidemic and inquired about the Ministry of Health’s vaccination program.
According to the Secretary of Health, almost everyone in the health sector has been vaccinated against Covid, and the second dose of vaccination for their families has begun.
The Prime Minister also instructed the officials to formulate a proper system for providing transport facilities to the nurses during the travel restriction period.
The Prime Minister also instructed the Minister of Health to take necessary steps to expedite the process of awarding the degree of Nursing.
It was revealed at this meeting that the task of awarding the degree of Nursing has been referred to the Attorney General’s Department for drafts and it was decided at this meeting to take necessary steps to submit the relevant draft to Parliament expeditiously.
Murutthettuwe Ananda Nayaka Thera said that the allowance for nurses’ uniforms had not been increased after the Prime Minister had increased it during his tenure as President, and requested that the allowance be increased. The Prime Minister said that a common decision in this regard could be taken in the forthcoming budget.
Gamini Senarath, Secretary to the Prime Minister, SR Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services, and HAD Kalyani, General Secretary of the Public Service United Nurses Association, and other members of the union were also present at the discussion.