What a let down by the doctors

Published : 12:03 am  August 4, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Patients who came to the Colombo National Hospital CNH yesterday were inconvenienced by the 24-hour work stoppage launched by the GMOA. 

Pic by Kushan Pathiraja   


strike cripples Health services

  • 24-hour work stoppage to end 8 am today


By Kalathma Jayawardhane  

Healthcare services in most hospitals including the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) were disrupted because of the 24-hour countrywide work stoppage by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday.  

GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge told a news briefing the work stoppage launched at 8.00 am yesterday was a success. He said it would end at 8 am today and they were forced to launch the work stoppage in the absence of a positive response from the authorities with regard to the ten main concerns faced by them.  “They are related to the delay in increasing the disturbance, availability and transport (DAT) allowance paid to medical officers. The government should issue a gazette notification on minimum standards of medical education already approved by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) and Action should be taken to solve the issues with regard to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka and Singapore,” Dr. Aluthge said. “For the first time, private medical practitioners have also supported this work stoppage and none of the government doctors will engage in private practice during the 24 hour period. Apart from the doctors many other trade unions have also joined in this battle.”  

He said all emergency treatment was carried out without any disruption and added that healthcare services at childrens, maternity, cancer, kidney and army hospitals were carried out without any disruption.  

Dr. Aluthge said they would launch a series of massive trade union action in future if the government did not provide a reasonable solution an added that Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne had offered to discus this matter tomorrow.  
The GMOA also rejected the claims that they were politically motivated and was an independent association.  


OPDs, clinics, cardiothoracic units most affected

By Sandun A Jayasekera  

Colombo National Hospital (CNH) Director Dr. W.K. Wickramasingha said yesterday patients attending Outdoor Patients Departments (OPDs), clinics and cardiothoracic units were among the most affected from the 24-hour work stoppage carried out by the GMOA. 



Dr. Wickramasingha said routine surgeries were performed as usual at the CNH yesterday and the OPD, Cardiology Unit and clinics were not functioning and admission of patients had been suspended.  

Meanwhile, patients who had attended the OPD and clinics at the CNH unaware of the token strike and were extremely critical and angered over the trade union action by doctors.  

P.A. Ramachandran (50) who travelled from Badulla to get admitted to the CNH said he did not get any treatment for his injuries he suffered in a motor cycle accident in Bdulla.  

“There are no doctors at the OPD and I have been on this stool since last night without any treatment,” he said and added that the trade union action by the doctors could not be justified under any circumstances and that it was extremely inhumane, unethical and indecent.  

Nirosha Kumari (35) from Grandpass had come to the OPD to get treatment for a severe stomach ache and dizziness but could not meet a doctor as they were on strike.  

“ This strike by doctors is inhumane, unethical and illegal. Doctors dictate how to run the government, manage the economy and education. They want the government to take policy decisions on their terms and manage the public service as they pleased. They think they know about every thing under the sun but never discuss how to prevent patients dying from medical negligence. They never talk of the high cost of private medical facilities, drug shortage or fleecing of patients by doctors who foot the bill for the medical education, Today striking doctors have become curse to society than a relief,” Girly Paranawithana from Ratgama who had brought her mother to the cardiothoracic clinic at the CNH said.