Seventy-two health sector trade unions are pressing on with their strike action despite healthcare has been declared an essential service.

They launched the work stoppage at 6.30 am yesterday (13) to demand that they too, be paid the DAT allowance given to doctors.

With hospital functions affected as a result, the government deployed members of the armed forces to carry out the services.

Unionist Ravi Kumudesh said the authorities were yet to address their demand.




Head of the association of PHIs Upul Rohana said nearly 100,000 workers are involved in the strike.

The unions will meet at 2.00 pm today (14) to discuss their action tomorrow, he said.

In the meantime, nursing officers who were not part of the strike, are to protest in front of the Health Ministry to press for four demands.



This is the reaction by the public to the ongoing health strike.



Yesterday, a special gazette notification declared the provision of healthcare as an essential public service.

Secretary to the president Saman Ekanayake issued the communiqué on a presidential directive.

It reads that “all service, work or labour, of any description whatsoever, necessary or required to be done in connection with the maintenance, and the reception, care feeding, and treatment, of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries, and other similar institution” are considered essential to the life of the community.

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