Trincomalee hospital protest strike

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 October 2002, 10:53 GMT]
Medical officers, nurses, attendants, drivers and minor employees working in government hospitals and dispensaries in the Trincomalee district Monday staged a one hour strike in protest against the assault on a doctor and damage to an ambulance by the unruly crowd which caused the deaths of Tamil civilians on Friday, sources said.

The walk out was staged as decided at a meeting attended by representatives of all trade unions of hospital employees, medical officers and nurses held last Saturday.

All functions in government medical institutions came to a halt Monday when all staff walked out from 10.30 a.m. for one hour. In Trincomalee hospital hundreds of patients waited in the outdoor patient department for treatment Monday till the medical officers returned to work.

A spokesman of the committee, which organised this joint trade union action, said, an ambulance was sent to pick up the injured on Friday was held up by the unruly mob, while a doctor who was in the ambulance was assaulted. Ambulances coming to Trincomalee hospital with patients from Killiveddy, Tampalakamam and Kantalai were not allowed to proceed to Trincomalee. The mobs stopped those ambulances and even went to the extent of dragging patients out from one of the ambulance. The police rushed to scene and saved that patient from being assaulted by the mob, the trade union spokesman said.

"We have made representations to the authorities concerned to ensure that in future no such intimidation and assault on medical officers and other staff related to hospital services would take place. Our service to mankind is on pure humanitarian point of view. In any conflict medical staff would normally rush to the scene of violence with ambulance to provide transport to the injured to hospital. If some members of law enforcement authorities and miscreants obstruct us from performing such duties, no hospital staff would come forward to provide such humanitarian services in future," he said.

 

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