Sri Lankan Healthcare workers go on strike demanding allowance


Healthcare workers who are members of 72 health trade unions in Sri Lanka launched a continuous strike action at 6:30 AM today (February 13), demanding an allowance of Rs. 35,000.

Despite assurances from authorities to address their concerns, talks held with finance ministry officials and health professionals’ societies on Monday (February 12) yielded no progress, leading to the current strike.

The Sri Lanka government recently decided to double the Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance paid to government doctors, raising it from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 70,000.

The strike is to demand a Rs. 35,000 allowance for other healthcare professionals as well.

Healthcare workers have previously staged symbolic strikes on this issue.

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.

In anticipation of the strike’s potential impact on healthcare services, Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has mentioned the possibility of deploying military personnel to ensure essential services are maintained.

However, he clarified that no concrete decision has been made on this matter yet.