tirsdag 23. desember 2008


Greener pastures for Lankan nurses
Nadira Gunatilleke

The first batch of Sri Lankan nurses selected for employment abroad by the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry, will leave to the United Arab Emirates in the first week of January next year, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said.

The sources said 14 Sri Lankan trained nurses received appointment letters from the Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday (19th Friday) at his office. Those nurses have obtained IELTS and other relevant qualifications.

Several other affluent Middle East countries have made requested the Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva to attract the services of 5,000 Sri Lankan nurses. Abu Dhabhi Oman and Libya are among them, the sources said.

According to Ministry sources, this will provide plenty of employment opportunities for Sri Lankan nurses who have the required training and experience. The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has already taken steps to provide a special training to a batch of 127 nurses in order to send them overseas by the end of this year and early next year.

Interviews will be conducted by end this month for the nurses who are keen to accept foreign employment. Countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia have also made similar requests from Sri Lanka. Some of the trained nurses will be sent to those countries.

The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has imposed several important conditions for the countries who wish to employ Sri Lankan nurses in order to ensure their safety, well-being and financial stability. The ministry would send nurses only to the countries that pay higher salaries, provide comfortable accommodation, safety and a life insurance share to them. The Ministry would pay special attention to these requirements when signing agreements with countries which have called for the services for nurses.