GNOA threatens to extend strike in NWP to other provinces

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday threatened to extend their four-day strike in the North Western Province to Chilaw Hospital if the Provincial Health Authorities failed to cancel their decision to transfer 378 nurses immediately.

GNOA Chairman, Saman Ratnapriya said that nurses attached to 45 health institutions, including Kuliyapitiya, Nikaweratiya, Dambadeniya and Marawila Base Hospitals were on strike. He warned that the strike would spill over to the other parts of the provinces if their demand was not met.

Meanwhile, the Matron’s Office of the Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital could not be contacted though sources at the Hospital said the nurses’ strike was still in progress. The Medical Superintendent of the Kuliyapitiya Hospital could not be contacted. A Hospital official refused to comment on the situation.

The Health Minister of the North Western Province, D. D. Herath, contacted for comment, said that the decision to transfer the nurses had been taken owing to the dearth of nurses staff at the Puttalam Base Hospital. There were excess nurses in the Kurunegala District while some of those had been serving in the same place for approximately seven to eight years. Those nurses had been given transfers to Puttalam to overcome the shortage at the latter location, the minister said.

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