The government will enact legislation to recover around Rs.5 million from each medical specialist and about 250 to 300 Sri Lankan doctors who had gone abroad to follow post-graduate studies and had not returned to the island within two years of completing their studies and examinations, Healthcare Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said, after conferring Mahapola scholarships to 332 students from the Badulla district to universities at the Badulla Library Auditorium recently.
He told The Island that previously the procedure of the Health Ministry was that each doctor who went abroad for post-graduate examinations had to sign Rs.5 million worth bond in accordance with the Health Ministry Act, but now the government had reduced it to Rs.200,000. From grade 1 up the M.B.B.S. medical degree, the government spends around Rs.5 million for each doctor.
He pointed out that some doctors after receiving higher medical qualifications abroad had opted to stay abroad in contravention of legal bond signed with the Health Ministry. No government had taken action to remedy this situation and due to Health Ministry`s failure to take appropriate action defaulting doctors had been got away.
Minister de Silva noted that in private medical institutions a large number of foreign doctors were employed at high salaries and this had reflected that Sri Lanka was not in a position to produce adequate doctors for the country. The government would have no alternative but to take stern action to recover Rs.5 million from each doctor living abroad.