“Issues pertaining to any sector can be resolved through discussions. The Government has given them a patient hearing. However, there was a time when unions didn’t exercise the same freedom to win their demands. When the Government suppresses unions they think that the government is strong. These are the same unions that are trying to bring the former government back to power,” the Minister told guests at the foundation stone laying ceremony to construct a hostel building in Mulleriyawa for the Nursing Science Faculty which was set up last year.
Once completed, the Faculty will provide degree level education to around 2,000 nurses annually. Dr Senaratne also revealed that the country will be looking to export is nursing services in the future.The Minister said that certain organisations and politicians however continue to live with a slave mentality. “We cannot go forward with such a mentality,” he said. According to the Minister, various parties who are trying to topple the government are those with a similar mentality and intends to create such a society.
President of the Government Nursing Officers Association, Saman Ratnapriya hailed the latest developments in the Nursing field as a triumph over the Government Medical Officer Association (GMOA). The GMOA has been vehemently opposing the awarding of degrees to Nursing officers and other health sector employees even going on to embark on strike actions as a result.“They have been continuously opposing providing higher education to health sector employees” Ratnapriya said adding that it was not only nursing officers that were victims of the GMOA. According to him the GMOA are not favourable to the professional development of any health sector professionals other than that of Doctors.
“The GMOA even blocked the provision of clinical training to nurses at government hospitals,” he pointed out. Noting that the GMOA has acted in a despicable manner however the Nursing officers have triumphed over them as the government has facilitated the development of all health professionals, Ratnapriya said.The introduction of the new Nursing Science Faculty had been a long time coming after it was first suggested by the former Minister of Higher Education Dr. Badiuddin Mahmud in 1968. The Nursing Science Faculty once it is fully operational will provide training to 2000 local and international students.
The 17 storey faculty building and the Hostel comprising of a swimming pool, ground and other facilities is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 14.5 billion. They will be completed in three years time, Ministry officials confirmed.