Medical and dental consultants at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State has appealed to the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to end the ongoing doctors’ strike in the state.
This is contained in an open letter to the governor by Dr Samuel Faturoti, Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, Federal Medical Centre, Owo Chapter, on Monday in Akure.
Faturoti said that the governor should look into the issues and take actions that would enhance speedy reopening of the hospitals under the state government.
“We are writing not only as a body of medical doctors but also as residents in the state. We care about the health of the good people of Ondo State, who are worst hit by the closure of the government hospitals.
“Therefore, we appeal that as a caring and listening governor, you should look into this issue and take actions that will enhance speedy reopening of the hospitals,” Faturoti said.
The newsmen report that the doctors, under the auspices of Ondo State Government Doctors Forum, started an indefinite strike on Feb. 2, over the payment of 50 per cent salary for the month of November, 2020.
The doctors said they will not call off the strike until the balance of salary for November is paid.
The doctors are also demanding for the payment of COVID-19 allowance, employment of more doctors and provision of accommodation for resident doctors.
Faturoti said that it was a known fact that the governor would be sworn in for another term in office by Feb. 24, and the body of medical doctors wished him well in office.
The association reminded the governor that the state-owned hospitals across the 18 local government areas in Ondo State were patronised by the residents because they were affordable, furnished with experienced and committed healthcare workers.
“The closure of the hospitals, therefore, leave the residents with no other option than to patronise private health facilities, which may not be affordable due to the economic situation of the land.
“Ondo State doctors and other health workers have been giving their best, endangering their lives even in the face of sub-optimal working conditions.
“Paying 50 percent of the irregular salary is demoralising and demotivating in the face of the daunting challenges we face,” Faturoti said.
Acting Commissioner for Health, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, told journalists that the meeting with the doctors on Thursday in Akure was fruitful.
Adeyeye said the government was surprised that the strike was yet to be called off.
He said that the governor explained that the 50 per cent salary cut was only for the month of November, adding that the striking doctors knew the sincerity of the state government.
He said that it was wrong for the doctors to say the meeting did not yield positive results.
“We promised to pay COVID-19 allowance on Feb. 20. Government has attended to their demands.
“We are doing everything to resolve this crisis. The Finance Commissioner is doing everything to ensure money is available to pay the COVID-19 allowance,” he said.