News

Supplementary medical professionals’ demands met

 

  • To receive same relief afforded to nurses

  • Pavithra agrees to submit Cabinet paper next week 

 

By Dinitha Rathnayake

 

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi has agreed to provide the same relief to those employed in the professions supplementary to medicine (PSMs) which was earlier provided for nurses, leading the Joint Council of PSMs to call off its strike yesterday (6).

A letter issued under the signature of Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Asela Gunawardena yesterday mentioned that the Health Minister had agreed to submit the relevant Cabinet paper containing the union’s demands to the next Cabinet of Ministers meeting on 12 July.

A total of 50,000 members of the Joint Council of PSMs launched a strike on 5 July citing 14 demands.

Wanniarachchi also handed over a document in writing that the demands would be met and that the demands granted to the nursing staff should be equally given to other affiliated unions as well.

Meanwhile, Joint Council of PSMs President Ravi Kumudesh said that they have called off their strike action following talks with the Health Minister yesterday.

“We temporarily suspended our strike action until 12 July. However, we would launch our strike if the Health Minister is unable to bring our demands to the Cabinet.” These trade unions represented laboratory technicians, radiologists, pharmacists, as well as public health inspectors.

The Joint Council of PSMs was unhappy about President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision to provide immediate solutions to five out of the seven demands made by the Public Services United Nurses’ Union. The President assured to provide solutions to the other two demands from the next Budget during a meeting held with the Nurses’ Union leaders.

The Joint Council of PSMs warned last week that they too would be compelled to take union action unless the Health Ministry took action to redress their grievances, especially with regard to including their services in the gazette notification that addressed the issues of the nurses.

Meanwhile, Public Health Services Deputy Director General Dr. Hemantha Herath warned that the trade union action would definitely drag the situation to a serious level. “This is not a good time to engage in strike actions and to fight for their demands. This is a time when we all should work in collaboration. Otherwise, the virus will determine our fate.”