GMOA strike: Countrywide healthcare services crippled

18 September 2019 06:19 pm - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Healthcare services in hospitals countrywide came to a virtual standstill today due to the 24-hour strike launched by the GMOA.

The one-day token strike launched by the doctors attached to the GMOA ended this morning, which started from yesterday 8.00 am.

GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge said the incumbent government had violated the National Salaries Policy by increasing the salaries of the judicial and legal sectors while neglecting several other executive officers including medical officers.

Director of the Colombo National Hospital (CNH), Dr. W.K. Wickramasinghe said patients attended to outdoor patient departments (OPDs), clinics and cardiothoracic units were the most affected from the token strike.

Routine surgeries were performed as usual at the CNH yesterday but the OPD, cardiology unit and clinics were not functioning and admission of patients had been suspended Dr. Wickramasinghe noted.

Meanwhile, patients who had attended the OPD and clinics at the CNH were unaware of the token strike, were extremely critical and angry over the trade union action by doctors.

Patients, who had come from remote villages, spoke with frustration claiming that it was pathetic as to why the doctors punish them for something that they should deal with the authorities.

A. Eswari (44) of Sedawatta Road, Wellampitiya told Daily Mirror that she, together with her husband Munisamy, came to the OPD of the CNH to seek treatment for her swollen leg and the increased sugar level of her husband.

“There are no doctors at the OPD and I have been on this stool since early in the morning without any treatment or seen by a doctor. An attendant asked us to come tomorrow,” she lamented. She said the trade union action of doctors cannot be justified and said it was extremely inhumane, unethical and indecent to the core.

Daily Mirror provincial correspondents said the healthcare delivery in their respective areas had been disrupted yesterday consequent to the token strike by doctors.

Pradep Kumarasingha (32) from Kelaniya had come to the OPD to get treatment for fever but could not meet a doctor as they were on strike.

"I curse them for the treatment meted out to me. It is extremely treacherous, unethical and cruel to refuse to treat the poor patients after becoming doctors through free education".

Niroshi (34) from Modera who was suffering from an ailment on the foot said it was extremely unfair, unethical and indecent on the part of government doctors to take hapless patients into ransom to win their demands.

“We all know that doctors are the highest-paid public servants. They also get many benefits not enjoyed by other public servants including tax-free vehicle permits. On top of that, they engage in private practice and earn millions fleecing unsuspecting patients. Therefore, the strike by doctors is unacceptable in any way. If they continue with this unethical, indecent and selfish trade union action, I think the public will take the law into their hands and treat doctors appropriately”, Niroshi said.

However, emergency services at all hospitals during the time of the strike, were in action while the strike did not affect the functions at all maternity hospitals, children's hospitals, Cancer Hospital – Maharagama, renal treatment centres and a military hospital. (Sandun A. Jayasekera and Sheain Fernandopulle)

  Comments - 6

  • Chux Wednesday, 18 September 2019 07:52 PM

    These buggers have become a curse to our nation

    Santhan Thursday, 19 September 2019 03:41 AM

    This is because the stupid Europeans created this profession and gave artificial doctor title and made them look number one. Sri Lanka should Pass a Law and remove the doctor title from all of them.They should be just called Health Practioners.

    Venom Thursday, 19 September 2019 06:57 AM

    Happens when imbeciles take the Hippocratic Oath!

    kumar Thursday, 19 September 2019 05:20 AM

    Although there is substance in their demand they should have protested and prevented the anomalies before implementation but they are trying to benefit from such holding the public to ransom,

    Venom Thursday, 19 September 2019 06:59 AM

    Scumbags, all of them!!!

    Sunil chandra Thursday, 19 September 2019 07:00 PM

    They should be held responsible for all the sufferings of the poor Shane on you!!

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