The Ministry of Defence says that tri-forces personnel have been mobilized to support hospital operations amid the island-wide strike launched by the health sector employees.

It said that tri-forces personnel were deployed to various government hospitals across the island following a request from the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) says troops have been deployed at various government hospitals across the country to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of essential health services today (16 Jan), under the guidance of the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage.

The affected hospitals include prominent health institutions such as Colombo National Hospital, Kandy General Hospital, Kalubowila Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, Matale District Hospital, Kurunegala Teaching Hospital and the Government Hospitals in Monarahala, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Hambanthota, Balangoda, Thissamahara, Debarawewa, Balangoda, Eheliyagoda, Diyathalawa, Matara, Avissawella and several others. 

The deployment is aimed at maintaining the smooth operation of healthcare facilities during this critical time, the Sri Lanka Army said.

Under the supervision of the respective Security Forces Commanders, Army personnel are actively stationed at these hospitals to lend support and ensure that healthcare services continue without disruptions. Troops also remain on standby for additional troop deployment in case of emergencies, it said.

Around 72 trade unions in the healthcare service excluding doctors have launched a 24-hour token strike from 6.30 a.m. today (16) while the trade unions have decided to carry out only essential duties.

The trade unions are launching this action demanding that the allowance increase of Rs. 35,000 provided to the doctors be granted to them as well. 

However, it is said that this morning, Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has also invited the striking trade unions to a discussion on the matter.

Meanwhile Acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe says that he is to meet Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana later this evening to discuss the concerns of the health sector and find solutions.