Sri Lanka’s healthcare services disrupted as 72 health unions on strike


Sri Lanka’s healthcare services are expected to face significant problems today (January 16) as 72 health unions, which include various professionals like laboratory technicians, radiology technicians, pharmacists, public health inspectors, midwives, drug compounders, and entomology officers, have decided to go on strike.

This action, organized by the Health Service Trade Union Alliance, will last until 8:00 AM tomorrow (January 17).

The reason behind the strike is a recent decision by the President, who also serves as the Minister of Finance, to increase the duty interruption, attendance, and transport allowance (DAT) for doctors by Rs. 35,000.

Ravi Kumadesh, the Union Convenor, has criticized this decision as unfair and is demanding similar financial incentives for other healthcare professionals.

Adding to the tension, government nurses are planning to launch a 24-hour symbolic strike starting at 7:00 AM tomorrow (January 17).

The media reached out to Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana for a statement, and he mentioned that discussions on this matter are ongoing with acting Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe.

The widespread strikes are causing concerns about potential disruptions in healthcare services across Sri Lanka.

Patients seeking non-emergency care may experience delays or cancellations, and critical services could be stretched thin.