Sri Lanka’s health professionals launch token strike

A wave of discontent has swept through the Supplementary Medical Service sector as professionals commenced a token strike today at 8:00 a.m. protesting the government’s decision to withhold the Disturbance, Availability, and Transport (DAT) allowance of Rs. 35,000.

The trade union action unfolded across all government hospitals, underscoring the grievances of supplementary medical professionals who feel neglected in recent governmental decisions.

Ravi Kumudesh, the president of the Joint Council for Professions of Supplementary Medicine, strongly criticized the Cabinet’s stance on refusing to increase the DAT allowance for health professionals.

Kumudesh highlighted the complete disregard shown towards supplementary medical professionals in the pursuit of ‘economic justice,’ citing the lack of parity in allowances. He pledged to escalate the protest into a continuous strike should the government fail to promptly address this crucial issue.

This development follows the Cabinet’s approval on Monday (Jan. 08) of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal to double the DAT allowance for government doctors, raising it from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 70,000. The decision has fueled discontent among supplementary medical professionals, leading to the current token strike as they advocate for fair treatment and acknowledgment.