Health unions warn of strike
*Want Sab. PC circular curtailing O/T withdrawn

By Dilanthi Jayamanne


The Health Services Trade Union Alliance has warned that health staff from over one hundred hospitals would resort to a strike if the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council did not withdraw the circular curtailing their number of extra duty hours to twenty. HSTUA President, Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday (16) the health staff hospitals in Balangoda, Embilipitiya, Kahawatta and Karawanella had been asked to cut down on their extra duty hours by the Health Secretary of the SPC.

He said that doctors, nurses and other health workers of Sabaragamuwa Province covered sixty to seventy hours of work owing to the severe dearth of hospital staff.

The circular in question also limited the number of Sundays on which they could work overtime.

According to the circular, they could work only on one Sunday a month, he said.That showed how little the authorities of the SPC knew about hospital services. "You cannot simply close a hospital because it’s the weekend or take a Sunday off and leave patients unattended," Ratnapriya said adding that the Provincial Council had taken this decision because of the shortage of funds.

"We requested the Health Secretary and the Health Minister of Sabaragamuwa to withdraw the circular," he said. The HSTUA would give the SPC two weeks to withdraw the circular.



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