- GMOA warns of massive TU action next week
By Sandun A. Jayasekera and Sheain Fernandopulle
Healthcare services in hospitals countrywide came to a virtual standstill yesterday 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 Patients Departments (OPDs), clinics and cardio thoracic 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
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 increasing of 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.
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 military hospital.
Meanwhile, the GMOA warned the government that they would not become hesitant to launch a massive strike from next Wednesday, if they would not provide them with a concrete and satisfactory solution to the salary anomaly issue. 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.
“The memorandum, which was submitted to the Cabinet on Thursday with the view to rectifying the salary anomalies, does not envisage a solution to the entire executive officers whereas it has proposed to provide special privileges to selected sectors,” he said.