Written by Staff Writer
31 May, 2016 | 7:34 pm
Many patients were left helpless on Tuesday, May 31 because of a token strike which was launched by doctors this morning.
The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) commenced a 4 hour strike action until noon citing that irregularities have taken place with regard to post internship appointments.
According to the GMOA, over 10,000 doctors from 1571 hospital islandwide had pledged their support for the token strike. The token strike however, did not take place in flood affected areas such as the Colombo, Gampaha and Kegalle Districts.
Thereby medical services at the National Hospital were carried out undisrupted. In Kandy only the emergency treatment unit and the Intensive Care units (ICU) of the Kandy General Hospital were in operation during the token strike.
Patients who had arrived to clinics were forced to make appointments for a different date.
Acting Director of the Kandy General Hospital, Dr. Nissanka Wijewardena stated that majority of the medical officers at the Kandy General Hospital are members of GMOA therefore they are engaged in the strike action.
The token strike was also in effect at the Anuradhapura General Hospital. A woman who arrived at the hopsital noted that since her child’s illness is related to the head they must be taken to a hospital or taken to an OPD but if the OPD doesnt have medicine what relief can they receive.
Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Nailnda Herath stated that the strike action was carried out since they did not have any choice. He added that continous stike action will be launched next week and also a possibility where a one day stike action will be launched within the week.
Assistant Secretary of GMOA, Dr. Navin de Zoysa stated that they work with a subject minister who does not work via discussion, consensus and unsuitable for good governance.
He added that until the list of appointments is suspended and until nepotism which is in effect is ended, the Government Medical Officers Association will whole heartedly carry on its battle to put an end to this programme of handing over the country’s medical sector to NGO’s
Issuing a communique, the Ministry of Health said that the strike action will affect only functions of the Outdoor Patients Departments and clinical services. The Ministry says the trade union action did not take effect in the Colombo, Gampaha and Kegalle Districts as well as at the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital.
The communique states that most registered and assistant medical peripheral hospitals in the country functioned as usual. The Ministry of Health further notes that consultant and intern doctors provided treatment for in-house patients at all hospitals in the country as usual.
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