President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to hold a special meeting chaired by him involving the Minister of Health and officials of the Finance Ministry to discuss matters raised by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA). The GMOA made the revelation in a media release detailing the outcome of the discussion its representatives had with President Maithripala Sirisena in Parliament earlier today.

The GMOA’s Executive Committee had met President Sirisena and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne in Parliament this morning for a special discussion following the end of the 24-hour island-wide strike launched by the association in protest at some of the government’s budget proposals.

The GMOA states it pointed out to the President that many of the benefits given to medical officers while he was Health Minister to entice them to remain in the government service, have been removed through this latest budget.

The President had assured he would hold a special meeting soon with the Health Minister and Finance Ministry officials to discuss this matter. He had expressed confidence that a final decision could be made at this meeting. In addition, the President and Health Minister had both assured that they would implement a policy aimed at persuading professionals to remain in the government service.

The outcome of the meeting was discussed at length during an emergency Central Committee meeting of the GMOA held today. The members made four key decisions at the meeting: These were to further educate GMOA members and the public regarding the budget proposals, to cooperate with other professionals on this matter and to keep an open dialogue going with them, to work towards obtaining all benefits that had been afforded up until now at the scheduled special meeting and to initiate whatever trade union action determined by the Executive Committee at anytime.