Doctors in Ogun State threaten to strike over poor working conditions

Doctors in Ogun State threaten to strike over poor working conditions

The Ogun chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has announced that they will go on strike upon the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum given to the state government over poor working conditions.

The Chairman of the association, Dr Kunle Ashimi, at a press conference in Abeokuta on Friday, said the ultimatum issued on June 7 expires on Thursday.

According to Assimi, unless the government addresses the concerns of union members, they will have no choice but to go on strike.

He said non-payment of the revised CONMESS salary structure and failure to recruit new doctors were some of the issues that required government action.

He noted that despite ongoing discussions with relevant government officials, there had been no official commitments, only verbal assurances.

He, therefore, urged the people of Ogun State to appeal to the government to take necessary measures to thwart the impending strike that would cause disruption to health services across the state.

“The State Executive Committee of Ogun State NMA on June 7th issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government which expires on June 27th.

“This shows that work pressures on the few doctors who claim are having dire consequences and that industrial harmony may not be guaranteed after this date.”

“Ongoing discussions with relevant government officials have produced verbal assurances but no formal commitments have been made yet.”

“Affiliated bodies of the Ogun State Medical Association have been lobbying the government on the need to commence payment of the revised CONMESS salary structure for medical doctors in the state, to motivate and retain those who have not retired and attract new doctors.”

“We use this opportunity to appeal to good people of Ogun State to urge the Ogun State Government to take necessary steps to avert industrial action,” Asimi said.

The NMA chief said monthly electricity bills at Babcock University Teaching Hospital have skyrocketed from N80 million to N100 million and even N300 million.

He called for health care providers to offer concessions to prevent increased costs being passed on to patients, potentially leaving many without access to care.

“We appreciate the government's enthusiasm for developing the energy sector, but we urge them to make concessions to health care institutions.”

“These huge tariffs will ultimately be passed on to poor patients, further distancing them from accessing adequate health care services,” he said.

Regarding the cholera outbreak, Assimi said the association is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and various media organisations to carry out awareness programmes.

He stressed the importance of preventive measures and provided the contact numbers announced by Director-General of Health Dr Tommi Coker to report suspected cases of cholera.

He said these patients would be treated free of cost at designated facilities.

“We use this opportunity to urge the public to take precautions to prevent the spread of cholera.

“This includes avoiding open defecation, avoiding indiscriminate dumping of waste, washing hands regularly, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them, and treating water by boiling or treating it with chemical purifiers before drinking it.”

“If you don’t have the means to do this, we argue that two drops of household bleach per litre of water is a good alternative.

“We also ask schools to monitor food, fruit and snack vendors around schools to ensure proper hygiene practices are in place.


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