Y TOPE FAYEHUN, Akure
Following the alleged failure by the Ondo State government to pay their salary arrears for some months and its inability to resolve the issue of exodus of doctors and other health workers in the state, medical doctors have embarked on a two-week warning strike.
The doctors under the auspices of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) alleged that their welfare has not been taken serious by the state government.
The aggrieved doctors further stated that since the welfare of the health workers in the state is not being taken care of, they are also withdrawing their services henceforth.
In a letter sent to the governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, which was signed by the state chairman and secretary of the NAGGMDP, Dr Roland Arohunmolase and Dr. Richard Obe respectively, the association stated that its members resolved to proceed on a two-week warning strike starting from 8:00am on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
The letter titled, ‘Notice of Withdrawal of Service’, reads: “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 held on Wednesday 9th of June, 2021, members resolved at proceeding on two weeks warning strike starting from 8:00am, 10th of June, 2021.”
According to the letter, some of the grounds for the industrial action include “non-payment of salaries 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 harmonization 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, 2021.
“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.
“We hereby state that it is not the wish of our members to proceed on this industrial action, but it is necessary to draw your attention and that of the citizenry to the afore-mentioned.
The Association hopes Mr. Governor will do the needful in addressing our dissatisfaction as contained in this letter.”