The Ondo State Government Doctors’ Forum has urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency, respond to their demands to prevent further decay in the health sector.
The Spokesperson for the forum, Dr Olubosede Omolayo, in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Akure, said it was unfortunate that government had allowed the strike to drag on.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike 14 days ago over 50 per cent payment of their November 2020 salary and nonpayment of several allowances.
NAN also reports that owing to the strike, patients had deserted the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex (UNIMEDTHC), Akure, while those bringing emergency patients were asked to find medical attention elsewhere.
Omolayo said that the association had already met with the Commissioner for Health, the Head of Service and even the governor without any concrete achievement.
She lamented that while other categories of workers were paid 100 percent of their salary, medical doctors were paid 50 percent, especially at a time they ought to be encouraged in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some doctors are being owed as much as five months salary. It is unfortunate and highly insensitive that this strike has been allowed to last this long by the state government without consideration for the health of the people.
“Of particular concern are those whose conditions require regular medical attention and the pregnant women and children, majority of whom cannot afford private medical treatment.
“We also know that many people are dying at home without record in the state. Therefore, for the benefit of the people, government should address our demands.
“How can a hungry doctor give his best to the patient? Or how can a frustrated doctor, who cannot pay his bills, concentrate at work?
“How does he fuel his/her car and finance transportation to work since he cannot work from home?
“We hereby implore the good people of Ondo State and beyond to join their voices with ours to demand for better treatment of doctors by government,” she said.
Omolayo said that the state had been having increasing cases of COVID-19 infections since the commencement of the strike, saying that this should call for serious concern by all well-meaning citizens of the state.