Patients on waiting lists to wait longer as cardiovascular perfusionists strike continues

Patients on waiting lists to wait longer as cardiovascular perfusionists strike continues

Written by Staff Writer

27 Feb, 2014 | 9:51 pm

The strike action launched by cardiovascular perfusionists has forced open heart surgeries and bypass surgeries at four key hospitals, to come to a standstill.

Hospital authorities said that there are around 6000 patients in the waiting list for open heart surgeries.

The cardiovascular perfusionists are staging a strike action, demanding the removal of salary anomalies and payment of a risk allowance as well as a permanent overtime allowance,  based on seniority.

A total of 33 cardiovascular perfusionists serve at the Colombo National Hospital, the Kandy General Hospital, the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital and the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children.

Director of Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Dr. Linton Padmasiri commenting on the strike action said:

“I was not informed of this officially. They say that they are not working today. Child patients are not like any other patients,  if we fail on one day, the entire surgery will have to be postponed. Even though there is a waiting list . the patients need to be sent into surgery within a week, We need to accommodate it…”

Four heart surgeries that were scheduled to be performed at the National Hospital in Colombo on Wednesday, were postponed.

However, the Director of the National Hospital in Colombo said that critical patients will be subjected to surgery, without having them in the waiting list. Around twenty surgeries are being postpones on a daily basis at these hospitals as a result of this strike action.

The surgeries of the new additions to the waiting list, will also be postponed.

Vice President of Cardiovascular Perfusionists’ Association, Mangala Jayasinghe elaborating on the strike said:

“This strike action is our final call. We have discussed this issue through dialogue. We informed the Ministry of Health about this strike action around two or three weeks ago. Please take steps to issue a circular and provide us the allowance..”

On our Prime Time Sunrise bulletin on Thursday morning,  News1st contacted the Secretary to the Ministry of Health about this issue.

Secretary of Ministry of Health, Dr. Nihal Jayathilake speaking on the issue said:

“One of three requests cannot be provided with the mere consent of the Minister. That needs to be addressed by the National Salaries Commission, The Department of Management and The Treasury.”

“Certain things need the approval of the Ministry of State Administration. Yesterday we were informed that the treasury had decided to transform providing the emergency allowance as a over-time system. They will inform the Ministry of State Administration first and inform us later. Then I believe this strike would be stopped…”

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