Docs to strike over alleged PSC failure

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Executive Committee, at an emergency meeting on Wednesday (22), decided to launch an indefinite countrywide strike from January 30 in protest against the non-implementation of the doctors’ service minute.

GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soysa pointed out that in accordance with the 2006 No 6 Circular the service minute of the doctors had to be implemented without delay.

Dr. Soysa said that the promotional prospects, overtime payments, holiday payments, recruitment and annual transfers of all the medical officers had been adversely affected as a result.

The Finance, Public Administration, Health Ministries and the Salaries and Cadre Commission had approved the service minute to be implemented, but the Public Service Commission had not approved it. The PSC was a law unto itself, he charged.

Dr. Soysa said that the GMOA had planned to launch an islandwide strike on November 4, 2013, but the Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara had said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had asked him to request the doctors to postpone their strike so that a solution could be evolved.

The GMOA General Committee member said though the relevant ministries had approved the minute to be implemented, the PSC had not approved it yet.

The GMOA office bearer said that except the LRH, Maharagama Cancer Institute, Castle Street Maternity hospital, De Soysa Maternity hospital, all the other government hospitals and medical centres in the country would be affected by the strike. But, all emergency surgeries would be performed. The OPD and clinical patients would be severely affected. The PSC should be responsible for the crippling of the medical services from January onwards, he said.

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