PHIs withdraw from COVID-19 duties over Minister’s negative comment

17 July 2020 12:27 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Public Health Inspectors Union of Sri Lanka (PHIUSL) said its members have withdrawn from Covid-19 prevention duties with effect from 12.30 pm today.

The Union which has made several statements over the past weeks threatening trade union action said their demands have not been met thus far.

The Secretary of the Union M. Balasooriya said the Union arrived at this decision following the government's failure to provide Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) the legal provisions necessary for their duties. Despite a gazette issued on Covid-19 related health guidelines, PHIs claim that they have not been vested with the legal provisions necessary to carry out their duties.

He added that PHIs across the island have been committed to their duties of preventing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic despite their limited resources. "Yesterday the health guidelines gazette was issued, however, to our great dismay, we found that it only contained guidelines related to the election," Balasooriya said.

Balasooriya said that during a meeting with the Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi, the Minister made a negative comment about the services of the PHIs. “The Minister said that PHIs were not granted legal provisions, as there were concerns that this action would cause distress to the public. The Minister's statement meant that our Covid-19 services so far have been distressing the public. We're very disappointed about the Minister's statement and therefore have resorted to take trade union action," Balasooriya said.

The Union also apologized to the public over their decision. “We have been warning the government of the risks of a coronavirus second wave. However, our warnings went unheeded. With this latest development, we have to take necessary measures to protect our own officers. We apologize to the public for this decision. But the lack of legal provisions is a great obstacle in carrying out our duties,” Balasooriya said.

The Secretary to the Health Ministry has been communicated of the Union’s decision. Balasooriya said there has been no response from the Ministry thus far. “There will be a PHIUSL Working Committee meeting held tomorrow, in order to discuss further trade union actions,” he added. (Kalani Kumarasinghe and Sheain Fernandopulle)

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  Comments - 26

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  • Jinna Friday, 17 July 2020 01:07 PM

    Pavitra in Power. What the hell are you doing these difficult times. Let Gamanpila to evaluate this lady urgently based on what he proposed.

    Yana-Gaman Friday, 17 July 2020 02:08 PM

    Gam-Man will say 100% and later change it to 70%!!!

    Loll Friday, 17 July 2020 02:09 PM

    GON PILLAI AND MODA WANSA. VS. PAVITHA. COME ON COME ON COME ON

    nishantha Friday, 17 July 2020 02:12 PM

    we can appoint SL ARMY PHI......like everything in the rest of the country.

    BigEars Friday, 17 July 2020 01:37 PM

    It is time for the people to reject this mad woman who talks nonsense most of the time. We are with the PHIs as they have done a great job with limited resources.

    BigEars Friday, 17 July 2020 01:38 PM

    Looks like we can get an indication of the postal vote.

    Sokrates Friday, 17 July 2020 01:49 PM

    To blame is this ignorant an criminal ruling Mafia Clan and its Generals.

    Nalin Perera Friday, 17 July 2020 01:57 PM

    These lazy idiots were anyway waiting for an excuse to go back to their lazy ways.

    warren Friday, 17 July 2020 01:59 PM

    We should all thank the 6.9 million voters who brought the current regime back to power.

    Paul Friday, 17 July 2020 02:03 PM

    At this point I agree with minister. Do they need legal powers to carry out their duties.? If they granted legal provisions in this regard they will misuse their powers causing many inconvenience to general public. Minister is totally incorrect.

    Neville Friday, 17 July 2020 02:10 PM

    They are not asking for higher salaries, overtime, any other privileges or police powers, but legal power to cover the duties they are expected to discharge.

    Yehiya Friday, 17 July 2020 02:28 PM

    Only racism is brought to power.

    Ajja Friday, 17 July 2020 02:39 PM

    Don't worry, MR will intervene and PHIs issue will be sorted out.Ministers are dumb creatures and try to be too smart.

    Ajja Friday, 17 July 2020 02:39 PM

    Don't worry, MR will intervene and PHIs issue will be sorted out.Ministers are dumb creatures and try to be too smart.

    BUSHE Friday, 17 July 2020 02:42 PM

    I dont think this remark should be reacted in this manner. Some PHI mite try to be too smart on public and with that some problem arises then again another withdrawal.

    Dee Friday, 17 July 2020 02:42 PM

    Sack the PHI's get the military to do the job !

    roni Friday, 17 July 2020 02:50 PM

    The stage is set for the next chapter of the drama, when a higher person initiates a fruitless discussion and then will claim that all issues could be solved in this unlike in the past. This is for votes.

    Shun Friday, 17 July 2020 02:50 PM

    These fellows are asking for powers, so that they can legally harass the civilians. Sorry, if you can’t work under the existing conditions ,don’t just go on strike but pack up and leave permanently. Our Army can take over your work.

    Ram Friday, 17 July 2020 03:02 PM

    In my mind the legal power could be something like any obstruction to the work/duties of PHI during COVID time to have higher penalty. This is just one example

    GHarry Friday, 17 July 2020 03:21 PM

    Covid-19 is nothing but a fake story. All the health officers, the world over working for American mission to hit the CHINESE ECONOMY.

    alex Friday, 17 July 2020 03:29 PM

    does that mean PHI's have been working illegally

    Eichmann Bernhard Friday, 17 July 2020 04:51 PM

    And the population must keep its head down.

    Clau Eri Friday, 17 July 2020 06:19 PM

    PHI chief in an interview saying health minister not listening to them about school opening, political rallies, and misleading the public. That's what PHI officials taken this decision. She thinks that she is the head of the country. She must resign immediately.

    vince Friday, 17 July 2020 07:26 PM

    Bunch of idiots just like that minister. They all of them need an injection of intellect especially that ass minister.

    Danny Tuesday, 21 July 2020 05:50 PM

    To GHarry You got it all wrong. It’s the other way around. It’s China who want American economy crippled Living in lala land

    Ahamed lanka Saturday, 25 July 2020 10:56 PM

    Why do you want the power ? YOU ALREADY HAVE REASONABLE POWER TO CONTINUE YOUR GOOD JOB DONT PUSH TOO MUCH ON YOUR VIEWS A MINISTER HAS TO CONSIDER ALL ANGLES INCLUDING YOU WHEN THEY MAKE A DECISION.IF EVERY OTHER SECTORS ASK FOR THEIR EXTRA POWER WHEN SOMETHING IS HAPPENING .AND IF THEY ARE GIVEN THAT THEN YOU DONT NEED A GOVT AND SO MANY MINISTERS . A GOOD DANCER NEVER BLAMES THE FLOOR


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