COLOMBO (News 1st); Multiple Trade Unions including Public Health Inspectors and Midwives have threatened to go on strike on Tuesday (25) and step away from the government’s vaccination drive against a decision taken to administer the vaccine to only the families of doctors.
“The families of other health workers too are entitled to receive the vaccine and the government must provide them with the vaccine as well,” said Upul Rohana, the Chairman of the Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedic Services on Monday (25).
Devika Kodithuwakku, President of the Government Midwifery Service Association echoed the same and condemned the Health Ministry decision for allowing only family members of doctors to receive the vaccine against COVID-19.
“We call on the government to follow a streamlined process with respect to the vaccines,” cautioned Venerable Muruththettuwe Anada Thero who leads The Public Services United Nurses Union.
However, the Government Medical Officers Association has ruled the Trade Union conduct as unjust.
“They want the AstraZeneca vaccine administered in 24 hours. Where can find the sufficient amount of doses to meet their requirement,” reasoned Dr. Navin De Zoysa from the GMOA.
He said a plan is already in place to administer the Chinese Sinipharm vaccine and stressed there is no reason to call for a trade union action during a pandemic.
Sri Lanka’s Deputy Director-General of Public Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said what is happening at present is that those who already received the 01st dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine are given the second dose.
“There is no new program. All health workers are important and there is no program dedicated for the families of doctors,” he said.