Sri Lanka doctors' strike: Protests called off following talks with President Maithripala Sirisena

Colombo: Sri Lankan doctors on Saturday called off an island-wide strike following three days of successful talks with President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lankan patients wait for treatment at an empty government hospital in Colombo on May 5, 2017. Getty Images

Sri Lankan patients wait for treatment at an empty government hospital in Colombo on 5 May, 2017. Getty Images

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said the doctors decided to suspend their strike after its executive committee held talks with Sirisena, reports Xinhua news agency.

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

The GMOA began the countrywide strike on Thursday, 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, calling for the closure of the country's only private medical faculty.

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

Following the strike, thousands of patients were left stranded when they sought medical treatment in state hospitals due to the wards being deserted with lack of staff.

Hospital emergency units, dengue control units and hospitals in the disaster-affected areas continued to function normally despite the strike.

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2017 15:22 PM

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