Sri Lankan medical trainees abroad request to be repatriated
April 9, 2020 09:57 am
Several requests have been made to the President on repatriation of the Sri Lankan postgraduates in medicine who are currently in the United Kingdom and other countries for mandatory specialist training programs.
Along with the postgraduate specialist trainee team overseas, the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), Association of Medical Specialists and the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) have written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with regard to the matter.
Stating that the training programs have halted in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK, the medical students point out that, they will soon be deployed to the frontlines of combating the virus.
Currently, 7 Sri Lankan doctors have contracted the COVID-19 virus, the letter said.
Accordingly, the students have urged the President to take measures to repatriate the specialist trainee team and their families considering it an urgent need.
The letter further said that the specialist trainee team would volunteer is willing to volunteer to serve in Sri Lanka in preparation for the danger of COVID-19 in the country.
The GMOA points out that, once the trainees complete their mandatory quarantine period upon return, they will be vital to strengthen the human resource in Sri Lanka’s health sector.
Apart from the UK, the aforementioned parties have requested the President to consider the repatriation or assurance of Sri Lankan postgraduate medical students in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, as well.
PGIM, in their letter, has stated that they have appealed to the High Commissions in the UK and Australia to inform health authorities of relevant countries on the students’ safety concerns and importance of the students’ health and safety in performing duties against COVID-19 as well as to facilitate return to Sri Lanka for those who wish to do so.