NCP docs call off strike at noon


By Don Asoka Wijewardena

A strike launched by about 1,200 doctors in the North Central Province was called off yesterday at 2.00 p.m. after the Chief provincial Secretary assured the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) that he would take action against Public Health Inspector Senerath Bandara within six weeks.

The GMOA is demanding action against PHI Bandara over a series of allegations including insubordination, but he has claimed that he is being hounded for making a complaint against a corrupt doctor.

(GMOA) General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soyza told The Island that during an emergency meeting of the GMOA with provincial Chief Secretary K. Herath at the Anuradhapura Teaching hospital’s auditorium yesterday (17) the Secretary had agreed to take disciplinary action against PHI Bandara.

He alleged that Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka had failed to be impartial in the previous inquiry. The Chief Secretary had promised a separate disciplinary inquiry within six weeks and if the investigation found that PHI Bandara was guilty, he would not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary action against him, Dr. Soyza said.

According to Anuradhapura Hospital Director and Dr. W. Athapatthu and Polonnaruwa General hospital Director Dr. Pani Somaratne, many patients who visited their hospitals were badly affected but all emergency medical services were provided uninterrupted.

Dr. Soyza warned that if the Chief Secretary failed take action against PHI Bandara, the GMOA would not hesitate to resort to stronger trade union action.

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