Health Sector Trade Unions to Discuss Allowance Hike with Health Minister

The health sector trade unions are set to convene with Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana today (19 Feb.). The meeting is arranged for 10:00 a.m. at the Ministry’s premises, aiming to resolve the trade unions’ demands for increased allowances.

Ravi Kumudesh, the convenor of the Health Trade Union Alliance, mentioned that should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the unions will decide on their strike actions after their discussion with the Minister.

On 14 February, the unions called off their strike following the Minister’s agreement to hold talks.

The unions, representing various health sector workers – such as radiology and laboratory technicians, pharmacists, midwives, dental surgeons, public health inspectors, and entomology officers – have repeatedly striked in recent months, demanding an allowance akin to the DAT (Disturbance, Availability, and Transport) allowance that doctors receive.

This movement originated from the Cabinet Ministers’ endorsement of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposition to increase the DAT allowance for government doctors from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 70,000.