Anti-riot squad deployed as tense situation emerges in front of NHSL

Anti-riot squad deployed as tense situation emerges in front of NHSL

February 16, 2024   05:47 pm

A tense situation arose in front of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) in Colombo this evening (16), as the minor staff of the hospital commenced a demonstration against the Deputy Director of the hospital Dr. Rukshan Bellana.

Thus, police anti-riot squad had also been deployed to beef up the security of the hospital premises, Ada Derana reporter said.

Earlier today, it was reported that Dr. Bellana was forcibly held inside his office by the minor staff of the hospital.

A collective of 72 health sector trade unions recently carried out an island-wide strike action over disparities in allowances, which was heavily criticized by Dr. Bellana.

However on Wednesday (14), the health trade unions decided to call off their strike after Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana had agreed to a discussion with them. 

The trade unions representing a wide range of health sector professionals, including radiology and laboratory technicians, pharmacists and drug compounders, midwives, dental surgeons, public health inspectors, and entomology officers have engaged in strikes over the past few months demanding an allowance hike.

The trade union actions stemmed from the Cabinet Ministers’ approval of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal to double the DAT allowance paid to government doctors, raising it from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 70,000.

Against this backdrop, a special gazette notification was published on February 13, declaring the provision of healthcare as an essential public service.

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