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* Sri Lanka changes basic qualifications for nurse recruitment in northeast
Mon, Jan 30, 2012, 10:41 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has decided to change basic educational qualifications for recruitment of nurses from the Tamil-dominated Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The Ministry has decided to recruit students studied in arts and commerce streams from the Northern and Eastern Provinces to the nursing training.

The Ministry has taken this decision to provide a solution to the severe shortage of nurses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Several nursing trade unions have opposed changing the basic qualifications for the recruitment of nurses. The Ministry so far considered passing the Advanced Level Science stream as the basic qualification for nursing recruitment.

The union says the decision is a violation of the Nursing Service constitution that has outlined Advanced Level science z-score as the basis of the qualification for the recruitment for nursing service.

The Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena says that the change of the basic qualifications will be valid until the education process in the Northern and Eastern Provinces which are recovering from the impact of the three decade war, is normalized.

Earlier the Ministry made it compulsory for all the nurses, who have served over five years outside the Northern Province, to serve in the war-torn Northern Province as the hospitals in the region are experiencing a shortage of nurses.

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