Sri Lankan doctors call off countrywide strike after talks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-24 16:38:06|Editor: Zhou Xin
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COLOMBO, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan doctors attached to the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) on Saturday called off an islandwide strike after three days following successful talks with President Maithripala Sirisena.

The GMOA said that after its executive committee held talks with Sirisena, the doctors decided to suspend their strike.

During the discussions, Sirisena had assured to address the grievances of the doctors and bring in new laws to establish standards of medical education in the country.

The GMOA on Thursday began the countrywide strike, protesting against the violent clashes which erupted between police and students on Wednesday.

According to the GMOA, the strike was launched to strongly protest the violence allegedly unleashed by the police on the medical students when they held a protest in front of the Health Ministry a day earlier, calling for the closure of the country's only private medical faculty.

The violent clashes erupted close to the Colombo National Hospital, and left at least 85 students and nine policemen hospitalized.

The police said the premises of the Health Ministry were severely damaged due to the unruly behavior of the students after they forcibly entered the building in violation of the court order issued by the Colombo Chief Magistrate.

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.

Patients complained that the doctors' strike had inconvenienced the public who needed medical treatment.

Hospital emergency units, Dengue control units and hospitals in the disaster-affected areas continued to function as normal during the strike.