Doctors call off strike temporarily | Sunday Observer

Doctors call off strike temporarily

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) decided to temporarily call off their strike yesterday after discussions with President Maithripala Sirisena.

The agreement reached between the Government and the GMOA was based on four points.

The decision to call off the strike was announced by the President of the GMOA at a press conference following discussions with the President and the Prime Minister.

Following a request by the President to end the strike, taking into consideration the current dengue outbreak, the GMOA agreed to do so, provided steadfast action is taken to immediately suspend, any fresh intake of students into SAITM and also the graduation of the existing students. Second, the Government should inform its position pertaining to SAITM to the Supreme Court though the Attorney General.

Third, the President shall not allow any person to interfere with the GMOA or with the Association’s President’s post and that the independence of the Association is upheld. Finally a new and workable approach to be taken to find a lasting solution to the SAITM issue without any prejudice caused to the public.

Speaking at the press briefing held by the GMOA yesterday, Dr. Nalinda Herath said that this is a significant achievement for the people, adding that other ministers with vested interests should not jeopardise the amicable path opted for by the Government.

“During the past few months we had no option but to resort to avenues that we have never opted for in history, only to bring our message to the Government’s attention,” he said.

 With regard to the Ragama Teaching Hospital issue, he said, “Students had to pay with their lives, but now we have managed to obtain the same without bloodshed. We urge the ministers not to disturb the path the President and the PM have taken,” Dr. Herath said.

However, it was emphasized that if the Government fails to carry out their promises or backs out of the agreement, the GMOA will re-initiate the strike.

The GMOA decided to opt for a strike against the police attack on the university students who entered the Health Ministry demanding the closure of SAITM and caused damage to public property.

Government hospitals were paralyzed and OPD and in-house treatment completely stopped since the strike was launched. Doctors only treated emergency and critical patients.