Members of 72 trade unions from the health sector have launched a 24-hour strike this morning (16 Jan.) over several demands.
Accordingly, the strike action, led by the Health Service Trade Unions, represents a wide range of health sector professionals, including radiology and laboratory technicians, pharmacists and drug compounders, midwives, Public Health Inspectors, and entomology officers, and is slated to continue until 06:30 a.m. tomorrow (17 Jan.).
Meanwhile, Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana has invited the trade unions for a discussion this evening, however, Convenor of the Union Ravi Kumudesh warned that the strike will continue in the event unnecessary measures are taken against the unions.
Speaking with regards to the strike on Monday (15 Jan.), President of the Paramedical Services Front (PMSF) Upul Rohana stressed that because Minsiter Pathirana is yet to provide any discussion regarding their demands, around 100,000 health workers including all paramedical services, hospital secretaries, administrative officers as well as health administrative assistants, minor staff and 75 other trade unions of the health staff will join together with this island-wide strike.
“This action will completely disrupt the hospital service. The government should understand that it is not possible to maintain medical services only with the doctors”, Upul Rohana said.
The trade union action was launched in protest of the government’s decision to increase the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance for doctors by Rs. 35,000.