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Monday, November 30, 2020

National Hospital docs strike on Monday

Over thousand doctors of the Colombo National Hospital will stage a 24-hour strike on Monday (27) demanding the Rs. 29,000 Disturbance, Availability and Transport (DAT) allowance as promised by the Treasury in 2007.  Vice President of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Branch Union, Dr. S. Senaratne said yesterday

that doctors in the country had agreed to a personal request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the time to

accept a monthly DAT allowance of Rs. 10,000 owing to the war at the time.

He said DAT had initially been granted in 1992 and the doctors had received a monthly allowance of Rs. 5,000 as DAT

at the time. The Treasury agreed to a Rs. 29,000 in 2007 when the doctors demanded a revised amount of Rs. 40,000

almost 15 years later.

The Rs. 10,000 that was agreed upon was only increased by Rs. 2,000 in the budget proposals for 2012 last year and

at present doctors were paid a monthly DAT of Rs. 12,000 – even three years after the end of the war. “We are not

demanding a DAT to suit the present cost of living but one which was pledged by the Treasury in 2007, Senaratne

explained.

He opined that the NHSL Branch had had enough of trying to settle the DAT issue diplomatically as was being done by

the Executive Committee of the GMOA at present and had decided to go for the one-day strike.

When contacted, Assistant Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe said the Union would decide upon their

course of action on the DAT issue during the general committee meeting on Sunday (26).
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
IS

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