The Joint Opposition (JO) and the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) are both complementing and competing with each other for the position of the most influential opposition of the UNP-led government.
When one blocks roads with rallies the other cripples hospitals. When one pushes railway unions to action the other pulls medical students to roads. They both hold regular press conferences to ‘drive home’ the point that the country’s economy is in tatters and the government is out to sell the country. Other than one being a political movement and the other being a professional trade union there’s one other factor that makes them apart. That is with regard to the degree of public patience.
While a chunk of the public seems to be quite impatient to see the return of the players of the Joint Opposition the whole country seems to be losing its patience with the doctors. Mention the acronym GMOA and the public explodes. It will rattle off dozens of things to prove that the GMOA’s taking patients to hostage is nothing less than criminal.
After years of patience with the medical body the countrymen have started considering that doctors are even worse than politicians. Its appraisal on the medical officers is hitting such a rock bottom soon and is likely to say that it really would not mind the government encouraging an influx of doctors from Singapore or elsewhere to ensure smooth functioning of the health sector. After all what would the GMOA do if the public decides to side with the foreign doctors against the locals who take patients hostage at regular intervals?
There was a time that the JVP was becoming quite a public nuisance by getting down workers and students to roads and making them clash with the police so that the masses were reminded that there was a political party by the name JVP. With its Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) and the network of workers unions the ex-Marxists created traffic snarls in the city every other day. Then came the GMOA, a professional group that the masses thought had some semblance of sanity more than the JVP. Today the JVP is almost totally eclipsed thanks to the never-ending SAITM protests and hospital strikes engineered by the GMOA.
While there were speculations that the bulk of the units in the plush apartment complexes that are mushrooming in and around Colombo are bought by expatriates and also some shady businessmen who want to hide their black money, it has been revealed that quite a large number of them are owned by the doctors. This in fact is a good trend and the countrymen are happy that the professionals are earning well.
Besides, that would encourage more ethical people to buy apartments as it’s nice to have professionals instead of some unknown shady businessmen as neighbours.
However, what the doctors should realize is that the country can no longer afford to give them a free run while the rest of the country pays the taxes depending on income. Enjoy life but pay the taxes.