Medical doctors in Osun State have resolved to go on a full scale strike if the state governor, Mr Raud Aregbesola fails to meet their demands within 21 days.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Osun State branch Dr Tokunbo Olajumoke during a press conference at the NMA secretariat in Osogbo on today (Monday0
The Chairman of the association said the resolution was reached at the Emergency General Meeting of the body and that all the doctors in the state would join the strike at the expiration of the ultimatum.
The NMA Chairman read a statement jointly signed by him and the Secretary of the association, Dr Olalekan Ajayi in which the body enumerated its demands.
The association complained over lack of drugs and consumables in our health facilities and lack of basic amenities and equipments in the hospitals in the state as well as the non-payment of salaries of doctors and urged the state government to address the issues without further delay.
According to him, “following over two years of appeals, engagements and discussions with the state government on the decadence in the health sector in Osun state, the association hereby gives a twenty one(21) day ultimatum from today August 28 to September 17, 2017.”
“At the expiration of the ultimatum, the association will be left with no other choice than to immediately withdraw our services in the state.”
NMA called on traditional rulers, members of the National Assembly and the Osun State House of Assembly and other stakeholders to prevail on the State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola to do the needful so as to save the health sector in the state from further collapse.
According to the NMA chairman, “the demeaning level of care being melted upon medical practitioners by the state government is best described as a vicious cycle of poor remuneration with consequent unsatisfactory career, flight of already scarce medical practitioners and then a subsequent pseudo-employment that does not last for a reasonable time.”
“Expectedly, in view of the neglect in the sector, there has been an untoward effect on the good people of the state as evidenced by the increasing mortality and morbidity indices of the state.”
“Despite accessing various funds, including the monthly allocations, ecological funds, project repayment funds (largely undisclosed), 11.74billion naira and 6.314 billion naira as her own share of the first and second tranche of the Paris club refund respectively, the state government has continued to pay our members varying percentages of their emoluments, in the range of less than 30% in the last 24 months as against what is stipulated by the wages and salaries commission of our dear Nation.”
“The state government, despite agreement to the contrary has also continued to withhold between 4 and 6 months salaries of our members during the period of industrial action embarked upon by some of our affiliates when the state government unilaterally slashed their salaries without any form of discussion.”
“The state government has also continued the issuance of payslips not in tandem with the salary received in the last two years. This has led to inability of members to fulfil their obligations to cooperatives and banks with regrettable implications on individuals.”
“Osun state is the only state that has continued to pay her doctors fractionated salaries, deduct full taxes while paying fractionated salaries with issuance of non complimentary payslip.”
“Despite these harsh and unfavourable conditions, the state doctors have continued to render health care services to the good people of Osun state.”
“The association has staged several protests and made many appeals to the government, federal house of representative, state assembly, traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders in order to find a lasting solution to the unconventional and illegal posture of the state government to the state of the health sector and welfare of doctors without positive outcome”, the NMA Chairman added.
He noted that a committee set up by the state government headed by Comrade Hassan Summonu, to look into the salary allocation in the state, has not acted in the best interest of NMA members.
Olajumoke posited that as the people of Osun state deserves effective health care, the medical practitioners also deserve their emoluments as at when due and urged the governor to yield the demands of the doctors to avert the imminent strike.