Mid-wives threaten strike

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Government Midwifery Services Association warned they would stage a protest if the Provincial Health Director does not cancel the transfer order given to two midwives serving at the Moratuwa District Hospital at Lunawa until replacements were provided. Deputy General Secretary of the GMSA, Devika Kidituwakku said on Monday (25) that the two midwives at the Moratuwa District Hospital had been given a transfer to the Moratuwa MOH office by the Provincial Director Health Services.

She said the 800 midwives of the Western province would stage a protest campaign on August 3. The transfer letter had been given last month stating that the transfer was done in view of the emergency field services. But it was not specified as to who was going to cover the services of the midwives at the hospital. She said the GMSA had appealed to the Provincial directorate and the Provincial Health Ministry who in turn had stated that the two midwives could serve at the hospital till they were given replacements.

However the hospital Administration would not allow the two to sign the duty register. Instead they had been asked to sign on another register. The two were being harassed by the administration for no reason at all merely because they wanted the two midwives to leave, the union claimed.

Kodituwakku explained that the administration of the hospital had even violated the duty roster procedure of the two midwives. They had advised them to stay away from work. Normally the two should cover seven hour shifts daily. However the administration had asked both to stay away from work.

Kodituwakku urged the PDHS and the Western Province Health Ministry to take immediate action to settle the issue by suspending the transfers till the replacements were made and to take action against the administration of the Moratuwa District Hospital for the actions taken by them.

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