The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal setting up a medical council to evaluate state teachers’ sick leave.
Submitted by the education ministry, its purpose, the Cabinet said in a statement would be twofold.
First to ensure genuine cases were not rejected and secondly to ensure any attempts to abuse the system were identified and resolved.
The medical council will replace an existing special committee. The main difference will be that the former will have an education ministry employee in addition to the existing state medical professionals.
The difference has been decreed as ‘particularly important’ as it will offer a more precise picture of every case and contribute towards better evaluations and decisions.
According to the statement, teachers’ health problems have been a long standing concern for the ministry and through establishing a medical council, aims to ensure that those who are unable to do their jobs due to health reasons are kept away from classrooms and have a chance to receive treatment.
When it is deemed suitable, they will return to their posts.
The council will seek to weed out any teachers who are trying to abuse the system – for instance using health reasons to not accept a transfer to another school.
Depending on the case, council members will be appointed by the chief of medical services and public health and/or the mental health chief.
The education ministry permanent secretary will be responsible for appointing someone from the ministry to the council.
Two bills on the matter, jointly amended by the health and education ministry will be heading to the plenum immediately, the statement said.