Tension between Batticaloa doctors over strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 June 1999, 14:55 GMT]
Heated arguments ensued between the Tamil and Sinhala medical officers of the Batticaloa hospital today at a hurriedly summoned committee meeting of the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) branch, said sources.

The meeting had been called to discuss extension of the strike to the east, the sources said.

The Batticaloa branch committee of the GMOA met on Monday and decided not to participate in the present strike after taking into consideration the ground situation due to the on-going war.

However, the parent-union in Colombo wanted the Batticaloa branch to strike.

Thereafter the Batticaloa branch committee summoned a meeting to discuss the latest request.

At this committee meeting, Tamil medical officers took a stand against extending the strike but Sinhala medical officers wanted the strike to be extended, hospital sources said.

However, when Sinhala medical officers said that they would attend to any police or military personnel coming into the out patient's department (O.P.D) during the strike, Tamil doctors protested. Tamil medical officers said that they would also attend to civilians in the O.P.D.

At the conclusion, a decision was taken to go on strike in the Batticaloa hospital from 12 noon today.

However some members of the GMOA said that although officially they were on strike they would continue to attend to patients coming into the O.P.D.


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