Written by Lahiru Fernando
02 May, 2017 | 10:15 pm
When the public hear the name ‘Government Medical Officers’ Association’, better known as the GMOA -t he first thing that come to their mind are strikes.
A strike by medical officers such as doctors means one thing. The public, the innocent people who are either severely sick or going through heart-wrenching pain, suffer day in – day out until the strikes are over.
Among these people are those who travel hundreds of kilometres for days, coming from rural areas to receive medical treatment. They have had to turn around and go back home, still continuing to suffer, because of strikes carried out by medical officers.
Among the most notable strikes in the recent past, are strikes against SAITM and private medical colleges. Prior to that they even strike to get ‘high profile’ schools for their children and also to get car permits on another occasion.
By now you have most likely have guessed the reason for this story. The GMOA has announced a strike. Again.
The one-day strike on Friday (May 5), will be against the controversial Private Medical College.
“We would like to fearlessly state that we do not fear the behaviour of these Ministers. On May 5, twenty one Trade Unions have confirmed to us that they will go on strike”, says Dr. Nalinda Herath Executive Member of the GMOA.
According to Dr. Herath, over 100 other unions have rendered support to the GMOA. He also stated that -failure to receive a proper response from authorities will see a continuous strike from Tuesday (May 9).
The other trade unions which will join Friday’s strike include:
“This is not a fight only against SAITM, but only a fight against us losing our pensions”, said Joseph Stalin, Secretary – Ceylon Teachers’ Union.
Even the All Island Transport Services Union has given their support to Friday’s strike.
“They say that the courts have given a verdict. However, there is no point in it. The law is yours. It is the people who deserve justice. Therefore, the SLTB will work with the people of this country, to close SAITM on behalf of justice”, said Sepala Liyanage, General Secretary – All Island Transport Services Union.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, has pointed out how the Joint Opposition said they will bring “a string of strikes after Vesak Poya” and the GMOA’s announcement of a strike on the 5th and again on the 9th.
“Do you see the similarity here? They say that he will come into power within 3 months. I ask them, Who is he, for him to come into power?” – questioned Min. Senaratne.
The Minister of Health also issued a warning: “We warn all the doctors and all the trade unions. All of them need to remember that we will not allow anyone to defeat us and bring that old regime back into power.”
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