Trade unions in the health sector say hospitals in the country are facing a severe crisis at present.
Unions said surgeries and laboratory tests have been suspended at several hospitals due to a shortage of essential medical equipment and medicine.
President of the Academy of Health Professionals Ravi Kumudesh said for the past eight months unions repeatedly warned of a health crisis within the hospital system and called for the Ministry of Health to intervene to manage the situation.
He added however the Health Ministry failed to implement a programme in this regard and was not accountable.
Kumudesh said as a result several directors and hospital administrators are issuing various letters calling for operations at hospitals to be halted.
He said a letter was issued calling for surgeries at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital and the Karapitiya Hospital to be halted while laboratory tests at the Colombo National Hospital were also suspended.
He noted the letters are an indication that hospital directors are using powers vested with them to reach arbitrary decisions and the Health Ministry has lost control of hospitals.
Kumudesh claimed it is humorous that the Health Ministry called for disciplinary action against the directors, as they were left with no other option.
Ravi Kumudesh further said the prevailing situation must be considered a disaster and managed accordingly.
He stressed prompt decisions are required for disaster management amidst the prevailing situation adding the Health Secretary must issue frequent advice for this purpose.
He claimed however it is difficult to get a meeting with the Health Secretary adding decisions cannot be reached in such a situation.
Kumudesh noted the Health Ministry must appoint a special committee with factions that meet every week to reach collective decisions amidst the prevailing crisis.
He said failure to do so will result in hospital directors acting in an arbitrary manner and hospital being halted due to shortages.
He added while letters were issued with regard to halting certain operations, several other services were also halted without being informed in writing.
Kumudesh said the health sector must be managed in a stringent manner despite prevailing crises in the country.