Health Care

Sri Lankan doctors on strike to demand university's closure

Sri Lankan doctors on strike to demand university's closureā€¯

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said they made a decision to "temporarily suspend" the trade union action after continuing a strike across all state-sector hospitals for three straight days to protest private medical education.

The strike affected thousands of people as state-run hospitals were unable to provide outpatient treatment or perform routine surgeries.

Following the islandwide strike by doctors, thousands of patients were left stranded when they sought medical treatment in state hospitals due to wards being deserted with a lack of staff.

"Why should we suffer for something which is beyond our control?"

The SAITM was established in 2008 under former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, but the GMOA began pressing action to scrap the SAITM only recently under the new government of President Sirisena.

Hundreds of students from state-run universities stormed the health ministry on Wednesday and smashed cars and furniture in a bid to pressure the government into closing the private medical college.

During the discussions, Sirisena had assured to address the grievances of the doctors and bring in new laws to enhance standards of medical education in the country. Opponents fear the university could jeopardize the island nation's free health service and tradition of state-funded education. Dozens of students were injured.

The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) said it has called off their trade union action with immediate effect following a discussion held with President Maithripala Sirisena this morning.

Students from the school's first graduating class have been embroiled in a legal battle to be allowed to practice medicine, after the government denied them certification as doctors.

The issue has sparked months of demonstrations, with doctors and students urging the government to shut down the university or acquire it. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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