In order to provide a quality health service to the people, alternative permanent measures would be implemented to meet the trade union challenges in the health sector, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva said
`During the past regimes stern action was taken to suppress trade union activities, which in certain instances were a threat to the life of trade union leaders. But, we, the government would take necessary measures to meet the unreasonable challenges of certain trade unions democratically by making permanent alternative solution in this field`, he said.
Accordingly, the existing shortcomings of human resources in the field of paramedical services, including radiographers and pharmacists will be filled before the end of this year, thus making available the services of MLTs to the private sector as well.
Explaining the proposed action to be taken to meet the challenges of these trade unions, he said that the most of the challenges in the health sector was from the Para medical services. `Steps should be taken to create excess in supply of man power in this sector thereby making their services available to the private sector as well`, he said.
The Minister made these observations on the occasion of commissioning of a new CT Scanner at the Ampara General Hospital. This CT Scanner costing Rs. 450 million was donated by the I-Freed organisation which comprises the Sri Lankan community living in Texas and Boston in USA. The scanner will be of immense use to the Ampara hospital as well as 65 other hospitals in the Eastern Province.
`Following the tsunami devastation, several local and foreign donor agencies supported the government`s rebuilding efforts. We should create a conducive atmosphere to ensure that all resources made available through local and foreign assistance are properly used for the benefit of the people`, the Minister stressed.
The Minister said that 2,000 youth would be recruited before the end of this year to be trained as pharmacists and MLTs. This would be in addition to over 600 paramedics who are being trained under the ministry of health. Action is also underway to open medical laboratory services affiliated to State Pharmaceutical Cooperation outlets in major towns in the country, he said.
The shortage and disparity in appointing nurses to the hospital will also be addressed, the Minister said. `We would recruit 5,000 nurses on regional basis. They will be trained at the district level itself and will be given appointment to those hospitals. With this in place, there would be no need to transfer of nurses and the Nurses Transfer Board would be dissolved henceforth,` he said.
With these new steps the government could meet the challenges of the trade unions in the health sector and ensure an uninterrupted health service to the innocent patients, he concluded.