Docs to read riot act to govt. ‘over broken promise’

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) yesterday said complained that more than 20,000 of its members had been discriminated against in implementing 1: 4.25 salary increment ratio as only professionals in the Justice and Higher Education Ministries and the Sri Lanka Administrative Service had benefited from it since January 2015.

GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the salary ratio of 1:4.25 in accordance with the National Wage Policy should have been implemented from January 2015 as announced by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Budget 2015. But, the present government had taken action to increase the salaries by that ratio only for professionals in the SLAS, Higher officials in the Higher Education and Justice Ministries.

 Dr. Padeniya warned that the GMOA would meet Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne today to discuss the issue and unless a solution was found to their problem they would be compelled to contemplate trade union action.

Judges, SLAS officers and other professionals, including doctors belonged to the senior level of the public service. There was no dispute over the fact that the doctors were also entitled to receiving 1: 4.25 ratio increment in accordance with the contents of the National Wage Policy, he said.

Dr. Padeniya stressed that the election manifesto issued by the New Democratic Front said doctors would be given Rs. 5000 salary increase. "But what will happen is that if the government gives Rs. 5,000 increase for doctors the ratio become only 1.25. In this situation more and more doctors will be compelled to leave the country for greener pastures. The health sector will face a crisis. The government's efforts to maintain the attractability and retainability of doctors will cease to exist."

The GMOA General Committee had decided to write a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena about the doctors’ grievances, Dr. Padeniya said. Intervention by trade unions, namely the Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine CPSM) and the Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) had caused a problem to the government to put the revision of the salary ratio on hold, he alleged.

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