Nat. blood centre employees threaten strike

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The lives of many patients, who are in need of blood transfusion, could be at stake as the employees of the National Blood Centre are about to strike due to the suspension of their allowances.

The allowances allocated to the employees at the National Blood centre have been suspended until further notice by the Health Ministry.

The employees were disappointed and there could be a strike to protest against the suspension of allowances, the All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) warned yesterday.

ACHSU General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe said that they were on the verge of taking a decision to launch a strike against the Ministry’s action to cut off the allocated allowances. It was the National Blood centre which had been collecting blood in many parts of the country holding many camps. It was common that 100 per cent of the blood collected was from volunteer donors.

He pointed out that even during the holidays, the staff of the Blood Centre had to go to remote areas to collect blood.

Kumarasinghe added that the circular sent by the Health Ministry to the National Blood centre had stopped the allowances paid to the staff.

Kumarasinghe said that due to this arbitrary action by the Ministry, there could be a blood shortage in the country. The accidents and post –surgery patients in need of blood transfusion would be in danger if the blood collection process came to a standstill, Kumarage said.

The Health Secretary and the National Blood Center Director Dr. Anil Dissanayaka, were not available for comment.

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