6:16 AM

NCP doctors plan token strike

Over five hundred doctors in the North Central Province plan to go on a token strike on Wednesday (17) as they have not been paid their on call, availability and transport allowances for three months.

Government Medical Officers’ Association, spokesman, Dr. Upul Gunasekara said there was a ‘coup’ against the health services of the North Central province by the provincial council. "We have seen the lack of enthusiasm they show towards solving the issue,"he said.

The Doctors of the Anuradhapura General Hospital would join the token strike despite being paid the allowances, in support of their counterparts in other hospitals under the provincial government.

Only the doctors of the Anuradhapura General Hospital have been paid the allowances, as they come under the central government. The rest of the doctors in the district and the doctors serving in Polonnaruwa have not been paid the on call, availability and transport allowances. These doctors come under the provincial government

The Health Ministry too has shown little interest as they have not done their duty by the doctors of this province, he said. The Ministry on its part has failed to appreciate the service rendered by the doctors of the Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura districts.

They have ensured that there was no breakdown in the services provided by them during the war and have left no room for foreign NGO’s to send their doctors to take care of war casualties as is done in other war ravaged countries.

Gunasekara said the doctors would maintain emergency services but refrain from attending to OPD patients and warded patients.

However, if the provincial government and the ministry take steps to settle the issue by paying the allowances pending for three months, the doctors would gladly give up ideas of the token strike, he said.