Medical officers strike threat

Medical staff on duty at the National Referral Hospital

The Solomon Islands Medical Association has issued a dialogue notice of twenty-eight days’ for industrial action against a decision by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury without their knowledge.

SIMA Vice President Alex Monamo told SIBC News yesterday, saying the 28 days’ notice was effective as of yesterday.

Dr Monamo says, they will use the twenty-eight days’ notice to dialogue with the concerned Ministry regarding the issue.

He explains, the ministry of finance recently issued them a memo, informing SIMA that from now on their will be no tax exemptions.

This means all who are enjoying the benefit of being exempted on certain areas of provision will no longer enjoy the benefit because it was revoked.

Dr Monamo adds, this decision will negatively affect SIMA because they will also loss the provision under their scheme of service which is a “non monitory benefit.”

“The Government through the ministry of finance has circulated a memo stating whole taxes exception around the country and those who are exempted are now will no longer have that privilege. And for us Solomon Islands Medical Association, under our scheme of service, one of our scheme is a non-monitoring benefit especially during buying of vehicles for work purposes, we used to be exempted from GSTA tax and dirty tax.”

However, Dr Monamo says this decision is not accepted because the finance ministry failed to have dialogue with them regarding the matter.

“From SIMA’s point of view, we don’t accept the revocation of the non-monitoring benefit. We see this as disrespectful as they don’t allow dialogue to happen when such important decision of this nature was made, because the memorandum of understanding was made between the ministry of health, Ministry of public service, ministry of finance, and SIMA.”

by Allen Waitara

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