As the strike embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors is ongoing, the resident doctors in Ondo State have appealed to the state government to respond to their demands so as to return to their duty posts.
The doctors, under the auspices of the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital chapter, has embarked on an indefinite strike action on June 5, 2021, two months before the national body of the association declared the nationwide strike, to press home their demands.
Some of the demands of the Ondo striking doctors include unpaid five months salaries, irregularities in salary payment, adoption of the Medical Residency Training Act of 2017, improved working condition among others.
The doctors, in a statement issued on Monday by the General Secretary of ARD UNIMEDTH, Dr John Mathew, called on the government to look into their matter and respond to their requests for the sake of lives of the patients at the state hospitals and the health sector in general.
“The Ondo State hospitals have been operating at less than 10 per cent capacity for the most part of this year. This is occasioned by the non payment of salaries, salary arrears, and irregularity of payments. It will surprise you to know that ondo state doctors have only earned two months salaries so far, thereby leaving us impoverished with five months unpaid salaries.
“Our salaries are so irregular that the February salary which was paid in April came over 70 days after January salary. This situation has made it difficult for the Doctors, some of whom are in residency training program that involves expensive Update courses and Exams. This is aside the cost of research work he or she has to fund from the irregular and, now, unavailable meager salary.
“This has not only brought untold hardship and worsened the welfare of the health workers who continued to combat the scourge of the covid 19 pandemic, to which some members have paid the ultimate price, with dampened morale but has also made life difficult for the people of the
state who receive care in our public facilities as most of these people cannot afford the cost of private health care and have to travel to other states to access affordable healthcare that should be made available at home.
“There is no denying the fact that precious human lives continue to be needlessly lost on daily basis as a result of the ongoing strike by doctors who were frustrated out of work or how else would you describe a situation where you work but do not get paid your dues as and when due with no serious attention paid to our calls for regular and complete renumerations.
“We appeal to the state government to accede to these basic demands so that we can return to work to stop further needless loss of precious human lives from preventable, curable and manageable disease conditions. This would ensure doctors are on ground also stem the tide of the new and more virulent variant of the Covid 19 virus in our dear state.”