Docs in North, East strike
by Don Asoka Wijewardena
Members of the Government Medical Officers’
Association, serving in hospitals in the North and East, will
launch a token strike today in protest against the Health
Ministry’s delay in finalising their annual transfer list.
Doctors in Trincomalee, Ampara, Batticoloa and
Weli-Oya will be participating in the token strike. The GMOA has
also made representation to the government to entrust the
responsibility of the administration of doctors in the North and
East to the Essential Services Commissioner General as the GMOA
had no faith in the Health Ministry, the GMOA said.
GMOA General Secretary Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya
told The Island that in accordance with the provisions of the
post-intern transfer circular, all doctors who had completed
one-year in the North and East were eligible for transfer.
Although the GMOA had asked the Health Ministry to finalize the
transfers, the Ministry had failed to do so.
He pointed out that the parents and family
members of the doctors had been urging the GMOA to take some
action for the transfer of doctors in the North and East. These
doctors were serving in the midst of heavy risks and neither
special allowance nor proper accommodation being provided by the
health authorities. The services of all central dispensaries,
OPDs of hospitals in the North and East would be paralysed
today. The GOMA assured that emergency patients would be taken
Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr. Nihal
Jayatilaka told The Island that the Health Secretary had given
directions to the Director General of Health Services Dr. Ajith
Mendis to issue the North and East doctors’ transfer list and
would expedite the matter.
Deputy Director General (Medical Services) Dr.
Wimal Jayantha said that the appointment letters of doctors
contained the condition that post-intern appointment for each
doctor was not for one year and the post-interns would be
required to serve at least two years in the North and East. The
Health Ministry on humanitarian grounds, had formulated a policy
of transferring doctors serving in the North and East after one
year. This was being practiced as an exception to the rule.
Dr. Jayantha said that the Health Ministry would
not be able to issue the North-East transfer list of doctors
today because no replacements for those going on transfer
doctors had not been found as yet. The next batch of interns
would be out on May 15 and the transfer scheme could be
implemented after that.