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Kalutara doctors boycott duties

2014 May 02

Doctors attached to the Kalutara Hospital have left patients out on a limb and have refused to visit their respective wards, on the charge that unauthorized personnel were interfering with their duties, the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) said.
Addressing a media briefing yesterday, GMOA Spokesman, Dr. Navin Soyza, stated that confusion is reigning in the Kalutara Hospital and many other places as nurses have started to play the role of doctors, and are taking over doctors' duties. Nurses have also begun to assume the role of midwives; a male nurse recently made his way into a labour room though it is strictly against the rules and regulations for a male nurse to be present during labour, the doctor said.
"These people have disturbed the ward rounds and created conflict situations. The hospital directors have informed these nurses not to do such things, yet some of the nurses, who are in unions, are becoming bolder and bolder, claiming that they are trade union leaders. Being a trade union leader does not qualify one to take over a doctor's job nor does it in anyway qualify male nurses to enter a labour room," he added. He stated that there is no legal binding on nurses to do midwifery, and that the Medical Ordinance has specified that the only people authorized to be in a labour room are the doctors and midwives – and therefore, it is they who will be held responsible in the event something goes wrong; even if it was a nurse who was responsible for any blunder.
"The Health Ministry agrees with what we say, yet they are not actually taking any decisive action against it. It seems like they are attempting to keep all parties happy, but that isn't how the ministry is supposed to function – it should do what is best for the Health Sector and what is best for the people," he concluded.

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