From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Doctors in Ondo State, under the aegis of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, have begun two weeks warning strike.
Specifically, the doctors alleged that government has failed to pay their salary arrears for some months and has failed to resolve the issue of exodus of doctors and other health workers among other issues.
The association, in a letter to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, complained about poor welfare of its members.
The letter, entitled: ‘Notice of withdrawal of service,’ was signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Roland Arohunmolase, and Richard Obe respectively.
“With due respect to your office, we write to notify your office of the immediate withdrawal of service by our members working under Ondo State Government Civil Service.
“Following ordinary general meeting of our association on Wednesday, June 9, members resolved to proceed on two weeks warning strike starting from 8:00am, yesterday.
“Our grounds for the strike include non-payment of salary arrears being owed health workers in Ondo State (January 2017, March April and May 2021), Gross under-staffing of government hospitals following mass exodus of doctors and other health workers from the state, non-regular payment of salaries and non-harmonisation of doctors’ grade level in Ondo State Civil Service as approved by Mr. Governor which is contained in the letter written to Nigerian Medical Association Ondo State in March. Percentage payment of salaries to health workers, non-payment of third tranche of COVID-19 allowance, non-implementation of Group Life Insurance for all Health workers.
“Against this backdrop, we wish to let you know that our members have been over stretched and their emotional intelligence badly affected. Ondo State is being over populated and this has increased the numbers of patient patronage at various government-owned health facilities. Invariably, it has become unbearable to cope with the deplorable state of things in Ondo State government-owned hospitals.”