25% of Doctors Are Ready to Leave the Country

The Association of Government Medical Officers says that about 25% of doctors in Sri Lanka are expecting to go abroad and they have completed the relevant graduation stage.

More than 1,800 doctors have left the country in 2022 and 2023, with the majority of those leaving being specialists, mainly in emergency care and anesthesia, followed by pediatricians, psychiatrists, neurologists, and cardiac surgeons, according to Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe, spokesperson for the Government Medical Officers’ Association.

It is reported that the main reason for doctors leaving the country is the high salaries paid to them abroad compared to Sri Lanka. The salary paid to a Sri Lankan doctor in Middle Eastern countries is almost ten times what they receive in Sri Lanka. He says it is close to double the Sri Lankan salary in the UK and rises to three times in Australia.

Commenting on this, the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Asela Gunawardena, said, “It is really difficult to increase wages when the country is trying to recover from the economic crisis. Sri Lanka is the country that provided them with free education from kindergarten to university. They have an obligation to help when the country is in trouble.”

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