As private practice is linked to the economy of medical professionals, most doctors, engaged in private practice around their hospitals, do not wish to be transferred to rural areas where the private practice is not so lucrative, according to Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.
Speaking at a seminar held at Sri Lankan Medical Association recently he said that the mal-distribution of doctors, especially in rural areas had caused an enormous problem and it had been found that around 64 doctors to 100,000 people in the country. He pointed out that medical schools in the country had been producing 1,000 doctors annually and it was a seizable number with which the country could maintain a sound healthcare system.
He said that the Health Ministry had to recently appoint 950 doctors to rural areas, excluding the Western province as it was found that healthcare facilities in some rural areas had been deteriorating due to inadequate personnel.
Minister de Silva stressed that Sri Lanka had her inherent problem in medical administration and the Medical Ordinance should be amended including new provisions to enhance the bond entered into by doctors who go abroad to follow post-graduate studies. He also said that even though the GMOA had objected to that suggestion,the Health Ministry had no alternative but to legislate it in the interest of the health sector..
He urged the GMOA, SLMC and medical professionals to bring a workable solution to see an end to the mal-distribution of doctors.
He also noted that Sri Lanka had all necessary legislation and has made necessary amendments and added that the ground situation was not so conducive in the medical sector.