By Segun Giwa
Akure, Feb. 2, 2021 Doctors working with Ondo State government, under the aegis of Ondo State Government Doctors’ Forum, on Monday, began an indefinite strike.
The Spokesperson for the forum, Dr Olubosede Omolayo, at a press conference on Tuesday in Akure, said that the strike had become imperative, following the payment of 50 percent of members’ salaries by government in November 2020.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum consists of Association of Resident Doctors, UNIMED THC, Nigeria Association of General Medical Forum and Dental Practitioners as well as Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria.
She said that the decision to embark on strike was taken after a meeting with members of the various associations.
Omolayo said it was unfortunate and insensitive for the state government to do such, despite owing four months’ salary, coupled with poor infrastructure in the hospitals and poor welfare packages for its members.
“After extensive deliberations, we have decided to withdraw our services at government hospitals. Many of our members have been infected with COVID-19; some have even died from the disease, while others got their family members infected and later died.
“We are over-stretched and we cannot continue working under this condition again. It’s even so bad that our COVID-19 allowances have not yet been paid,” she said.
Omolayo said letters had been sent to the governor and other relevant arms of government to explain the payment of 50 percent salary to members, but with no response.
She said that the forum was not part of the organised labour that agreed to the 50 percent salary payment with government, saying that it was a professional body and should be treated as such.
Omolayo, however, called on government to ensure payment of all outstanding arrears being owed its members, insisting that it was impossible for doctors to survive on half salaries.
By Segun Giwa