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Strikes disrupt services at Govt. hospitals

26 May 2015 01:28 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Work in some 1,070 government hospitals countrywide were paralysed today as a result of 48-hour strike launched by All Ceylon Health Services' Union urging that their ten major demands be granted.

ACHSU President Samantha Koralaearachchi said sixteen hospitals didn’t take part in the trade union action but they too would join in the strike tomorrow.

The Health Ministry had requested the Sri Lanka Army to deploy personnel to carry out emergency services at the hospitals where the healthcare services had been disrupted.

The Army said it had deployed 318 personnel at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, the Colombo South, Avissawella, Badulla, Kosgama, Kurunegala, Elpitiya, Matara and Okkampitiya Hospitals.

“The Army personnel are not competent to conduct surgical operations and other healthcare services? It is not a good solution. We are aware that the strike action has affected many patients. But, there is no option because the health authorities are not listening to our longstanding concerns,” Mr. Koralaearachchi said.

He said more than 3,000 healthcare workers at the Colombo National Hospital had not reported to work and as such medical check-ups, work at the Out-Patients Department (OPD), surgical operations and the distribution of meals to the patients had come to a standstill.

However, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said the trade union action was unsuccessful because steps had been taken to carry out work in the hospitals without disruption.

“The Health Ministry's Disaster Management Unit began coordinating the work at the hospitals soon after the Ministry was informed about the countrywide trade union action,” Dr. Mahipala said.

He said that hospital authorities in Kandy, Gampola, Negambo, Peradeniya, Ampara, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Gampaha, Wathupitiwala and Hambantota had also informed him that their hospitals were functioning as usual.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has directed Dr. Mahipala to consider those who did not report to work today as having vacated their posts and to take disciplinary action against them. (Piyumi Fonseka)
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