Views expressed as nurses’ strike cripples health sector – A Special Report

Views expressed as nurses’ strike cripples health sector – A Special Report

Views expressed as nurses’ strike cripples health sector – A Special Report

Written by Bella Dalima

03 May, 2014 | 10:39 pm

Various stakeholders expressed views on the prevailing situation of the nursing staff strike.

 President of Public Service United Nurses Union, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera

 “The Public Service United Nurses Union did not commence a strike action regarding this matter at any time. But today, we had to signal our protest because the doctors have got together and established an unofficial ministry within the Ministry of Health”

President of GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya

 “The strike action is being conducted successfully at close to 650 hospitals across the island. If any hospital director calls in tonight and says that hospital functions were carried out as usual, it is a lie.”

Secretary of GMOA, Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa

 “The majority of hospitals in Sri Lanka are functioning successfully without the nurses. It is not the nursing service that has collapsed but the other activities that were carried out by the nurses. For example admitting patients to the ward. This is work that is conducted by nurses who think that it is within the ambit of their duties. In truth, it is the duties of others that has broken down.”

 President of Government Midwifery Association, Devika Kodituwakku

 “Today, they have locked all the medicines in the cupboards and have left with no consideration whatsoever. The people must now take a decision on the nursing service which at this moment is prepared to sacrifice lives.”

President of GNOA, Saman Ratnapriya

“The drug cupboards are usually closed and during a strike they are closed anyway. It is closed and the keys to the padlocks have been entrusted to the Directors of the Hospitals. Not a single nurse has kept the keys. Keys have been entrusted to all hospitals.”

 Chandika Epitakatuwa

 “Surgical equipment has been hidden away and they have handed over false keys to the operation theatres, not the real keys. They have switched around some types of drugs. These nurses have fallen to the low level of even switching the labels on medicine bottles.”

 Saman Ratnapriya

 “They are lying and breaking the padlocks. They cannot resolve the crisis they have artificially created in the health sector by showing it to the country through the media. It is not they but the people of this country that are the owners of the health service. We will not leave room for patients lives to come to any harm.”

Chandika Epitakatuwa

“If a certain person engages in a strike action without carrying out emergency services in the health sector that is equated to murder.”

 Muruththettuwe Ananda

 “The Minister of Health, the Health Secretary and Director are passing the ball around without taking a decision on this. They have delayed for three months now. Therefore we mere made to resort to this action because is the Ministry of Health persistently fails to resolve this issue then the only action we can take is to protest.”

 Secretary of Ministry of Health, Dr. Nihal Jayathilake

 “I respectfully call upon the nurses unions. How much has this government given you under the patronage of His Excellency the President? Therefore, give us space to discuss and resolve this issue and please move stop this trade union action. That is my final request.”

 Saman Ratnapriya

 “At this moment we are forcing them to resolve this problem and take the middle ground. If they take a decision tonight we are prepared to halt the strike at any time of the night.”

 Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena

 “We are prepared to discuss and resolve this problem at any time. Just like the leaders of the trade unions and everyone in the nursing service, we all have a heart. We believe that everyone will act humanely at this instance and think as human beings to understand this situation and commit themselves to saving people’s lives.”

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