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JVP union cries foul over selection of nursing director

2015 Feb 10

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

All Ceylon Nurses Union (ACNU) President Gamini Kumarasinghe yesterday warned the Health Ministry not to fill the Nursing Director's vacancy with a person who lacked the required qualifications.

Kumarasinghe told the media that the Health Secretary had held an interview to select a person for the job. The interviews were usually held according to instructions given by the Public Service Commission (PSC). But, the ACNU had come to know that the interview board headed by the Health Secretary had selected a male nurse employed at Angoda mental hospital to be appointed as nursing director, he said. Candidate Ms. Karunaratne attached to the NHSL, who had obtained the higher marks at the interview would not be appointed nursing director, the ACNU chief complained. Instead the male nurse who had received lower marks at the interview would get that post. That was gross injustice, the ACNU affiliated to the JVP charged.

Kumarasinghe alleged that the candidate who had obtained the highest marks should be appointed Chief Nursing Officer at the NHSL. The ACNU had also learnt that on the request of the Government Nursing Officers' Association (GNOA) President Saman Ratnapriya the Ministry would appoint the male nurse as nursing director.

Health Secretary D. M. R. B. Dissanayaka, contacted for comment, dismissed the allegation levelled against him. He said he had never sat on the interview panel at issue. The matter came under the purview of Deputy Director General P. S. Rahuman (Administrator Nursing), he said.

DDG Rahuman said that it was Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala, who had sat on the interview board to select the nursing director. The interview had been conducted on the instructions given by the PSC. As far as he was aware nobody had influenced the interview board politically. It was up to the PSC to select the right candidate and appoint the nursing director. The Health Ministry was not the appointing authority, he stressed.

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