GMOA launching TU action at expense of patients - Rajitha

Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said that the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA)launched the Trade Union action at the expense of lives of innocent patients.

He said that the association launched the Trade Union action by misleading the public citing various minor issues through the media. The GMOA had cited that the Inland Revenue Tax on doctors has been increased from 12 per cent to 24 percent and this was one of the main reasons that led them to go for a strike action yesterday.

The Ministry insisted that this tax increase is applicable to the doctors whose income exceeds Rs.350,000 a month.

“The 12 per cent tax on doctors whose monthly income does not exceed Rs.350,000 remains unchanged,” the Minister said yesterday. Minister Senaratne added that the GMOA’s claim that a tax of 24% has been imposed on all Government Medical Officers is wrong. The GMOA has also said that the public has to bear the burden due to the 15 per cent VAT on private hospitals.

Minister Senaratne added that the 15 per cent VAT on private hospitals has been removed completetly. He added that patients seeking medical treatments at private hospitals are not taxed and the GMOA has launched a Trade Union action without any consideration to the innocent patients seeking treatment at government hospitals. Meanwhile, Government Medical Officers’ association (GMOA) said that their TU action will end at 8.00 am this morning (August 4). But the Executive Committee of the GMOA wil meet next week in order to take a decision on further trade union actions, GMOA Secretary Dr. Haritha Aluthge said.

Addressing a press conference held at the GMOA Head Quarters in Colombo yesterday he said that the sole responsibility for the difficulties faced by the patients during the strike should be held by the Government. The strike did not impede the operation all emergency treatment units, children’s, maternity, cancer, kidney and army hospitals in the country including Kidney Treatment Units.

Thousands of patients seeking treatments at government hospitals were stranded yesterday due to this strike.


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