Written by Staff Writer
03 Feb, 2017 | 11:21 pm
On January 31, the Court of Appeal determined that medical students graduating from the SAITM Private Medical College have the right to provisionally register with the Sri Lanka Medical Council.
Two days later, on February 2 – A protest was held by the Medical Faculty Student Activists Committee in Colombo. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters who were opposing the court order issued on January 31.
Today, February 3 – Doctors across the country launched a trade union action opposing the efforts to disperse the protest held on February 2.
Just like every other time, when doctors decide to strike – this time too, it was the patients who suffered and were left helpless. According to the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), doctors only engaged in “essential services.”
However, patients – seeking essential medical services– had to turn back empty-handed. They turned back after standing in long queues at the Colombo National Hospital since early morning .
The OPD? No different. Several other unites including the OPD were affected by the token strike which went on from 8 a.m. to noon.
One patient said that she and a group of others traveled 150 kilometres. to the hospital seeking medication. “Do not do this again. This is the second time we came here. We could not get the children any medicine on both occasions”, she lamented.
The National Hospital is not the only strike-hit hospital either. The situation was no different in Anuradhapura, Karapitiya, Kalubowila, Ragama, Gampaha, Kandy, Polonnaruwa and Hatton.
Min. Rajitha Senaratne said “the excuse” for today’s strike was to release students (apprehended during the protest on Thursday). However, the minister pointed out that the students were released Thursday night.
Furthermore, the minister questioned the ‘aim’ of the strike. The minister said the strike was nothing but a “ruse to carry out a campaign against the government”.
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