The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday (10) warned that it would strike on any day after 17 July, if the Government failed to resolve 10 of its issues, including making appropriate appointments for the vacant Deputy Administrative Grade Posts.
GMOA Assistant Secretary
Dr. Naveen de Soysa alleged that Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne was guilty of violating the Medical Service Minute (MSM) by submitting Cabinet Papers, which violated the recruitment criteria for those positions. At present, there are over 100 Deputy Administrative Grade Positions vacant and these are being filled by those who had been appointed in an ‘acting’ capacity. “A majority of those appointments were not even sanctioned by the Public Service Commission (PSC),” he claimed, adding that this situation had resulted in an adverse impact on the health service.
The GMOA, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena sent on 9 July, said that no effort had been made to rectify the discrepancies in the Grade Promotions which occurred with the issuing of the 2014 Gazette on the new Health Service Minute, which was prepared in keeping with the 2006/6 circular.
Dr. Senaratne for delaying the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Elections to fill the remaining four membership positions. They alleged that this had affected the functions of the Council.
Explaining further the reason for the proposed strike, the GMOA said that the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance paid to medical officers needed to be upgraded. “No action has been taken so far by the Ministry of Finance, although recommendations to upgrade the allowance had been made to it by the National Salaries and Cadre Commission,” he added. He said that at a meeting held on 7 June, the Finance Ministry Secretary had pledged to respond within two weeks to this demand, however, there has been silence from that quarter even after a lapse of two weeks.
Further, the GMOA said that they were yet to get a response to the proposed amendments to the Inland Revenue Act, which will allegedly have an adverse impact on professionals. They added that the Government’s decision to increase the salaries of selected professions, like those in the judiciary, only helped to grossly violate the National Salaries Policy.