By S.G. Nathan
Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena, at a ceremony bringing the Trincomalee General Hospital under the management of the central government from the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC), pointed out that there is a shortage of 10,000 nurses in the country.
He attributed the massive shortage to a large number of nurses retiring from the service and many others seeking job opportunities abroad.
The Health Ministry took over the administration of the Trincomalee Hospital on a request made by the EPC. It was revealed that the Health Ministry has already taken the administration of several provincial hospitals in Nuwara Eliya, Polonnaruwa, Chilaw, Gampola, Hambantota and Kantale, under its administration.
"The main purpose in taking over the administration of provincial hospitals at the requests of Provincial Councils is to equip them by adding modern facilities and human resources," Minister Sirisena said.
He added that a lot of health professionals go abroad seeking greener pastures and about 50 files related to such cases are signed by the ministry every day. "This situation cannot be prevented as it is their right," he said.
Minister Sirisena also said even though the ministry has called for applications to fill the vacancies in the health sector, the response was poor.