suspends admission of patients
The ongoing strike
initiated by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA)
precipitated into a huge crisis when the GMOA ordered two of the largest
hospitals in the country, the Kalubowila Hospital and the Ragama
Hospital not to admit new patients.
Dr. N.S.S. Senaratne,
member of the media committee of the GMOA, warned of serious
consequences if the government continued to ignore the demands of the
doctors. “The government must focus its attention to this problem
forthwith. Otherwise we will further extend our trade union action,”
he told The Sunday Leader.
According to him,
thousands of surgeries have been postponed due to the ongoing strike
that enters the 11th day with no solution in sight. Around 300 to 400
surgeries are usually performed daily.
The GMOA has also
directed doctors from the peripheral hospitals to withdraw from the
hospitals they are attached to.
have also been told not to admit patients if the government is not going
to give them a favourable answer, Dr. Senaratne said.
strike sparked off on June 12 with a demand by the doctors to the
government to rectify their salary anomalies.
GMOA also rejected a decision taken by the government to empower a
specially appointed committee to look into their salary anomalies. The
doctors charged that they do not expect the cabinet to empower a
committee, but want the cabinet of ministers themselves to approve the
rectification of their anomalies instead.
government issued a circular informing the doctors that the cabinet has
appointed a committee to look into their salary anomalies and recommend
suitable solutions, but the doctors said they "cannot tolerate
estimated 7,500 doctors attached to the GMOA are participating in the
Health Minister, P. Dayaratne told The Sunday Leader that the government
is willing to meet their demands, but not immediately. According to him,
the Treasury will have to spend more than Rs. 500 million per year to
pay existing salary arrears.