Colombo, May 22 (NIA) – Hundreds of patients remained stranded across Sri Lanka on Monday as doctors attached to the Government Medical Officers Association launched a 24 hour strike, crippling the island’s health sector.
The GMOA announced last week that it would launch the token strike, to protest against several issues including the police firing tear gas on medical students last week when they took part in a protest to oppose the functioning of the SAITM College which is Sri Lanka’s first private medical college.
As wards remained deserted in all state hospitals, patients were seen lying on benches without medical attention.
Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Nalinda Herath told reporters on Monday that the 24 hour strike was to oppose the government’s attempts to arrest the GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya on contempt of court charges, and the police action taken on medical students last week..
He said the strike was also to oppose the police’s inaction to arrest those who were responsible for the grenade attack on Sri Lanka Medical Council recently.
However, he said emergency services, maternity hospitals, children hospitals, cancer hospitals, tri forces hospitals and the renal treatment units would be free from the strike.