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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2553

Jaffna - Seven day old protest by Health Volunteers ended

By K.T.Rajasingham
Colombo, 20 December, (Asiantribune.com):

The seven day old Health Volunteers work boycott protest at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital came to an end yesterday, after assurance from the Northern Province Governor’s office and agreement by the protesting Health Volunteers to a compromise proposal put forward by the authorities.

A total of 206 Health Volunteers were attached to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital since 1997, and they work all these years without any monthly wages. They were earlier appointed as Health Volunteers by the Red Cross Society and St Johns Ambulance, when there was an acute shortage for health worker in the Hospital.

For the last seven days, those Health Volunteers were involved in a work boycott protest demanding permanent appointment and yesterday they announced that they would undergo fasting if their demands were not met immediately.

As a show of sympathy to the protesting Health Volunteers, all medical officers, para-medics as well as the other staffs of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital joined the protest and boycotted their duties which put the hospital, as well the OPD patients in a dire strait.

As the protest threatened to reach to a more complicated situation, Teaching hospital authorities intervened in resolving the boycott and met the Northern Province Governor at his office.

Professor P. Balsundaram, President of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital Welfare Society, Bavani Pasupathirajah, Director of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and 4 representatives of the protesting Health Volunteers met the Governor and his officials and arrived at a compromising resolution acceptable to the protesting Health Volunteers.

It was agreed to give immediate permanent appointment to 80 of the protesting Health Volunteers, who have passed their G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination.

Also it was resolved to grant conditional appointment to the balance 126 Health Volunteers who have not obtained the required passes in the G.C.E. Ordinary Leve examinationl, on condition that they qualify by sitting for the examination 2 times after given the conditional employment.

Governor’s office has forwarded that recommendation to the Health Ministry in Colombo after it being accepted by the representatives of the protesting Health Volunteers, who participated in the discussion held at the Northern Province Governor’s office.

- Asian Tribune -

Protesters squatting inside the Jaffna Teaching Hospital
diconary view
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