Health service TUs up in arm
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
Health service trade unions including doctors,a section of nurses, and Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) are up in arms following a move by Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to send the Public Service United Nurses’ Union (PSUNU) Chief, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera a letter reassuring him that some of his union’s demands would be met.
Secretary of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Dr.Senal Fernando, yesterday (25) said, “The Health Minister should understand that no attempt should be made to substitute the allowances given to medical practitioners owing to their nature of service and qualifications even though the service provided by nurses could not be underestimated.” He said the matter had been taken up during a discussion with the Prime Minister on Wednesday (24) when the Executive Committee (Ex-Co) of the GMOA had met him. “We hope that at least the Premier will intervene to resolve the issues that have arisen regarding State sector salary policy,” he said.
The letter sent by the Health Minister on a Parliamentary letterhead to the PSUNU Chief, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera would only result in triggering a chain of trade union action in the health sector as it was prior to 2003, he warned.
Dr. Fernando said the Ex-Co of the GMOA had decided at its Central Committee meeting on 2 December 2021, on its next course of action should the nature of the service and the technical criteria adopted in formulating the National Wage Policy be disrupted in an attempt by the Health Minister to increase wages of other health service categories.