While authorities sleep docs to go ahead with strike

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday renewed their threat to go ahead with an indefinite strike from April 22 unless the doctors’ service minute was implemented prior to that date.

GMOA Committee member Dr. Navin de Soysa said that the Health Ministry had informed the GMOA that the Public Service Commission (PSC) had only approved the service minute of the doctors without the consultants’ transfer scheme. Therefore the work of the PSC was not completed. A tug-of-war had been going on between the Health Ministry and the PSC over the issue for some times.

Dr. Soysa said that the delay in the implementation of the service minute had caused many problems to the patients in the peripheries because consultants were unable to serve the people as their transfer scheme had been deleted from the service minute. The PSC was passing the buck to the Health Ministry while the Health Ministry was passing the buck back to the PSC. Due to the dispute, the medical profession had suffered tremendous deterioration.

The most important part of the service minute had not been completed. So the GMOA had no alternative but to launch the scheduled trade union action commencing April 22. Around 17,000 doctors would keep away from work in all hospitals in the country. All OPDs, clinics and the routine operations would come to a standstill. But all emergency cases would be attended to. Doctors serving the Maharagama Cancer Institute, LRH and all the maternity hospitals would not participate in the strike, he said.

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