Published : 9:01 am  December 1, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (610) reads | 

Untitled-1Medical services in more than 900 hospitals countrywide, except the children’s and maternity hospitals had ground to a halt yesterday due to the token strike launched by doctors against certain budgetary decisions.

The Treasurer of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Dr. Nalinda Herath said strike was not carried out at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, De Soysa Maternity Hospital, and Castle Street Hospital for Women, National Cancer Institute, Maharagama and Sirimavo Bandaranaike Specialist Children’s Hospital in Peradeniya. According to the GMOA, more than 15,000 Government Doctors, thousands of Dentists and Ayurvedic Doctors were involved in the strike which would end at 8.00 am today. However, he said Doctors of the Central Province had informed that they would continue the strike another day. He warned that unless the government gave them a satisfactory response, they would launch a continual strike. Out-Patients Department (OPD) and clinical services were crippled at the Gampaha Base Hospital where hundreds of patients were waiting for hours until Doctors came. However, emergency medical services were reportedly carried out at the Gampaha Base Hospital. Services at the Kandy Teaching Hospital were also disrupted, discomforting the patients who had come to get treatment, services, medical check-ups, medicines, x-rays and ECG reports. Apart from the doctors, medical workers were also engaged in trade union action at the Kandy Teaching Hospital. Discomfited patients were seen leaving the Kandy Teaching Hospital criticising the government for leaving room for Doctors to engage in such activities to distress the general public.

At the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, all the doctors supported the islandwide token strike by not reporting to work. A number of patients who had come from afar to the hospital also had to return home due to the strike action. Patients at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital said that Doctors should be ashamed to use innocent lives of patients in order to get their whims and fancies fulfilled. Meanwhile, the Nuwara Eliya General Hospital’s doctors also restrained from working yesterday. More than 100 Doctors were engaged in the strike action.

However, Hospital Director Dr. Aruna Jayasekara said the doctors were ready at any time for emergency medical services despite the strike. Not only at government hospitals, the doctors in the Anurdhapura District refrained from working at their private medical centres. Among the 500 doctors at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, 492 supported the trade union action. At every other place, thousands of patients were subjected to grave difficulties as they had to return home without getting treatment for their illnesses. Reports by Thilakarathne Dissanayake, J.A.L. Jayasinghe, Athula Bandara, Shelton Hettiarachchi, Sumathipala Diyagahage, D.G. Sugathapala and Dayarathne Abogama