Armed forces to cover for striking health workers

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 September 2003, 11:00 GMT]
The Sri Lanka's Health Minister Mr.P.Dayaratne Tuesday sought the assistance of Sri Lanka's three armed forces and the police to maintain uninterrupted health service in government hospitals through out the island to counter the strike threat by seventy five thousand strong Health Sector Trade Union Alliance demanding increase of salary and removal salary anomalies, government sources said.

The Health Ministry has cancelled all leave facilities to hospital workers with immediate effect, sources said.

Mr.Dayaratne addressing a special press briefing Tuesday evening said causal, temporary and relief workers who participate in the strike would be issued with vacation of post notices without any inquiry. Relatives of serious patients warded in hospital have been asked to deploy attendants on their own to provide service, sources said.

Trade unions representing nurses and pharmacists have informed the Sri Lanka government that their members will not join the strike. Clerks, attendants, watchers and drivers working in hospitals would join the strike called by the HSTUA, sources said.

The HSTUA which comprises fifty three health sector trade unions has given notice to the government that its members will go on strike from Wednesday if the authorities failed to provide salary increase and salary anomalies removed in comparison with the salary increase granted to government medical officers few weeks ago, health sources said.

Meanwhile health authorities are negotiating with the HSTUA leaders to avoid the strike, which is expected to cripple the entire health services in the island, sources said.

 

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