Sri Lanka is geared to face the challenge of manpower shortage in the health sector by next year with the recruiting and training programmes carried out currently, the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva said.
The Ministry has undertaken to train 5,000 nurses on a regional basis in a bid to address the acute shortage of nursing staff. The trained nurses will be given appointments at the same hospitals that they were trained.
`We are now ready to face unfair trade union action with steps taken to fill the vacancies in the health sector, an efficient and proper service could be expected,` he said.
The Minister made theses observations at a seminar organized by the Health Education Bureau in Colombo to mark the World Health Day which fell yesterday. A number of programmes were organized to mark the day under this year`s theme `Work together for Health`.
This annual flagship event is expected to create an awareness regarding health globally. The functioning of systems world over is highly dependent on an efficient health system and its workforce, said Dr. Agostino Borra, WHO Representative for Sri Lanaka.
The health sector is a major employment provider with 26 percent of the world population engaged in health related jobs. However, significant imbalances in the distribution of human resources need to be address properly, he said.
The Health Ministry had organized a series of events to mark the World Health Day islandwide.