Loading...
The Health Show: Reversing the Medical Brain Drain
Now Watching
The Health Show: Reversing the Medical Brain Drain
Next Suggested Video
House Call in Hell
It wasn't easy for Dr. Ayodyha Wataliyadda to leave her family in Sri Lanka. But thanks to an initiative of the British and Sri Lankan governments, she is able to gain valuable work experience in the UK while eventually returning to practice medicine in her home country.
Flash Player 9.0.115+ or HTML5 video support is required to play this video.
Loading...

Produced by Rockhopper TV.

Originally broadcast as part of The Health Show.

Loading...

Share this video

Include start time Get current time
Include related videos, articles & actions
Loading...

Segment 1

TITLE
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Northern England
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA [Senior Registrar, Pediatrics]
That was my daughter. And she's 5 years old, about to start school next year.
VOICEOVER
It wasn't easy for Dr. Ayodyha to leave her family in Sri Lanka to come and work in Yorkshire in northern England.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
I was working as a medical officer in field of pediatrics, as a senior house officer, then a registrar, and then I wanted to specialize in pediatrics so I have been working in the field of pediatrics for about seven or eight years.
VOICEOVER
Ayodyha was supported to come to the UK by the Foreign Placement Coordination Center, backed by the Sri Lankan government. In return, she signed an agreement that for every year spent in the UK, she will work for at least four years back in her home country. If this doesn't happen, she will have to pay a substantial penalty.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
It's basically an essential requirement back in my country to get one or two years of foreign experience.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
Can I just have a look at your leg please? Okay, there we go.
VOICEOVER
Five-year-old Matthew fractured his leg falling off his bicycle.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
Does it hurt? Can you just move your toes a little bit for me? All right. That's brilliant.
VOICEOVER
Ayodyha also works with premature babies.
DR. SAL UKA [Consultant, Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS Trust, UK]
At registrar level we're talking about a senior doctor who out of hours in particular would be the most senior pediatrician on site so they do need to be able to demonstrate confidence and competence in managing pediatric emergencies in particular, but also managing newborn emergencies as well.
VOICEOVER
Ayodhya is putting her years of experience into practice. But she is also learning new skills.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
Back in my country, the gestational age that we start to resuscitate a baby is after 28 weeks after gestation, but here we take in 24 weeks onwards babies.
VOICEOVER
This baby girl, born seven weeks early, is suffering from low blood sugar and anemia. The treatment is quite straightforward, but there are certain skills that Ayodyha can only learn in the UK.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
We lack resources there. Mainly some investigations, some equipment, and even the trained skilled people, we lack there. But here in the UK, I have seen a very well organized structure and things are in abundance.
VOICEOVER
Only four months into her post, Ayodyha is settling in well.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
Usually we get the weekend off, so I manage to go to a few places around Yorkshire. I am settling in okay. I'm settling in very well, actually. I have almost fallen in love with West Yorkshire.
VOICEOVER
Sri Lanka has a shortage of medical specialists, but this scheme means that they will benefit from highly trained doctors who are more than willing to use the experience gained to help improve the health services in their home country.
DR. NICK BEECHING [Royal College of Physicians, UK]
I think the benefits are enormous and they go both ways. For Sri Lankans, they know that they're coming to previously approved jobs, their proper training posts, and that they'll be properly looked after when they get here. From the government point of view in Sri Lanka, they know they're going to get their graduates back. They're very expensive to produce, the old brain drain can't happen because they have a limited period here.
DR. AYODYHA WATALIYADDA
It's not that we are going to stay here forever. We'll be gaining the experience, gaining the knowledge. At the same time we'll be doing a service to the NHS as well. So I have a duty to go back. It's my country, so I'll be going back in two years' time.