Sri Lanka appeals for doctors to head north to Jaffna

By Ponniah Manikavasagam
BBC News, Vavuniya

Image caption,
Tens of thousands of people displaced by war have now left camps and gone home

Health authorities in northern Sri Lanka have appealed for more doctors to work in the Jaffna peninsula.

There is an acute shortage of medics in the area, which was at the heart of fighting leading to the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year.

The health ministry says that it has agreed to transfer doctors who are presently serving in hospitals in the south.

It says that it hopes the new doctors will be in place by 29 November.

Jaffna regional director of health services Arumugam Ketheeswaran said the area's hospitals currently had only 25 doctors and needed at least 100 more.

Officials say doctors are unwilling to go to Jaffna because it is still under heavy security even though the land route to the peninsula - which was cut off from the rest of the country during the fighting - has now been re-opened.

Most hospitals in the area also re-opened after the government began resettling nearly 300,000 people who had been displaced by conflict.

Officials say nearly 280,000 people who sought refuge in government-run camps have now been resettled.

The government says millions of dollars money have been invested to rebuild the areas that were affected by the war.

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