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* Sri Lanka state hospitals back to normal as the supplementary staff ends the strike
Mon, Sep 1, 2014, 08:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 01, Colombo: The strike launched by the supplementary medical professionals at the state hospitals of Sri Lanka has ended and the hospitals have resumed the normal operations from today, following the discussions with the union, Health officials said.

The Joint Trade Union Federation of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) which include, pharmacists, radiographers, medical laboratory technicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists launched an indefinite strike on last Tuesday, August 26, to win six demands.

The Joint Union Federation announced that the health workers strike has been called off temporarily for 48 hours from Sunday morning.

General Secretary of the Joint Trade Union Federation Saman Jayasekera said the hospitals will function normally from August 31 or by September 1st.

Jayasekera said the Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to meet Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) and other workers of PSM to discuss their problems and demands and the union will decide on future actions after the talks.

Despite a court order suspending the strike, the union continued their strike paralyzing the services at state hospitals and risking patients' lives.

The Colombo District Court on Friday issued an enjoining order suspending the strike after considering a petition filed by a resident patient of the Colombo National Hospital.

However, the Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said health services were back to normal after the court order. He said there should be no disruptions in hospitals by strike actions causing inconveniences to the public.

The union, among others, demanded the government to grant the promotions in their trades that have been suspended for a long time, implement Class One, Special and Supra-Grade promotions, increase salaries and recruit 200 graduates of supplementary medical science for the vacancies in hospital services.

Dr. Mahipala said the Ministry has submitted a report to the Cabinet on the union's demands, with regard to the implementation of Class One, Special and Supra-Grade promotions.

"They (the union) have said they will not resort to any trade union action. In fact we are in a position to settle matters through discussions. We stand to protect the rights of the health sector as well as the rights of the patients," Dr. Mahipala told National News Agency, Lankapuvath.

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