By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Despite having a severe shortage of dental surgeons in the country, the Health Ministry has failed neither to give appointments to dental surgeons who have completed their internship nor to pay their intern allowance, a batch of nearly 100 dental surgeons have complained to Health Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi.
Dr. Vipula Wickramasinghe, Secretary of the Government Dental Surgeons Association (GDSA) in a letter to Minister Wanniarachchi says that despite former Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Badrani Jayawardena on a letter dated 16/03/2020, had approved the payment of intern allowance to dental surgeons who have completed their one year internship, the Health Ministry has not paid us the due allowance up to now for the month of April. (Annexure 2)
Upon the completion of the internship, the Directorate of Dental Services introduced a post intern assignment process which was put on hold due to COVID-19. Hence, we continued to serve in the same hospitals or institutes from April 1 onwards, until a communiqué was sent by the Ministry, Dr. Wickramasinghe said.
“However from the month of May onwards, at least the intern allowance has not been paid in most of the major hospitals although we have been engaged in our hospital duties since April 1. When inquired about this problem, Dr. Ananda Jayalal (Deputy Director General, Dental Services) stated that there was no such provision to pay us the salary, due to the inadequate number of cadres for Grade II Dental Surgeons, in the current stations. Further, Dr. Jayalal directed us to bring this matter forward to the Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr. S.H. Munasinghe, as a batch, to reach a favourable solution,” he stressed.
At the moment, there are nearly 297 Grade II Dental Surgeon vacancies across the island. We would be grateful if the Ministry could analyse the possibility of accommodating a batch of 85, for a temporary time period until permanent appointments are made, he requested.
Therefore, the GDSA requests the Minister to approve Grade II Salary for the internship completed dental surgeons, re-do the Choice marking for the selection of post intern stations, consider the date of Grade II appointment as April 1.
- At the moment, there are nearly 297 Grade II Dental Surgeon vacancies across the island. We would be grateful if the Ministry could analyse the possibility of accommodating a batch of 85