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Sri Lanka: Plan to Charge Doctors for Leaving the Country

(Jan. 26, 2009) According to the Deputy Health Director of Sri Lanka's Health Ministry, the government of that country is turning to the courts to implement a plan to receive payments from doctors who work abroad. The charges would essentially be a compensation for the subsidized university education they had received. The Health Ministry is concerned about the large number of Sri Lankan doctors who leave the country to work abroad. One common pattern is for the doctors to go to destinations like the United Kingdom and Australia for advanced training and never return, taking advantage of opportunities to earn higher salaries outside Sri Lanka. The existing agreement for doctors requires them to pay Rs800,000 (about US$7,038) for their education, but those who emigrate should in theory pay Rs2.5 million (about US$22,000). (Government to Seek Legal Action Against Sri Lankan Doctors Working Overseas, COLOMBO PAGE, Jan. 15, 2008, available at