ACMOA threatens TU action

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The All Ceylon Medical Officers’ Association (ACMOA) is on the war path and warned they would rally other health sector trade unions for trade union action from Monday (30), if the Health Ministry failed to annul the circular issued to cut salaries and reimburse the slashed amounts.

ACMOA Co-Convenor, Dr. Jayantha Bandara, when contacted, warned on Friday (27), the Health Ministry would be given time only till 30 May before the ACMOA wages a series of trade union action starting with a protest.

He accused MPs of wasting over Rs 9 million to cry over their losses in Parliament last week. “While education and health have suffered severe blows due to the economic crisis, fuel shortages led to the closure of schools without even conducting term tests,” he accused.

Dr. Bandara said, the collapse of the health system has led to a highly dangerous situation in the country.

The shortage of medicines, the difficulty in obtaining fuel, the transport service which is being carried out at an excessive cost, and the slashing of salaries of the State health services, were all signs of its collapse.

At present, a large number of drugs affecting every field of medicine are either scarce or almost unavailable.

Anaesthetics required for patients undergoing surgery, medicines required for patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), essential drugs used in the treatment of patients with diabetes, hypertension, cancer and other non-communicable diseases, reagents for lab testing  and several pharmacological and therapeutic and essential equipment are all in shortage.

Dr. Bandara said, the Government had resorted to a heartless method to manage its loss of income. He said, it resulted in the slashing of their wages by cutting of Extra Duty Payments and the other allowances which were paid to health employees if it exceeded their basic salary.

He urged the Government to reimburse the slashed amounts which were hard-earned and take immediate measures to annul the controversial circular which had contributed to a further crisis in the health service.   

By Dilanthi Jayamanne