Doctors in the services of the Ekiti State government have raised the alarm over what they described as the deplorable condition of the primary and secondary health facilities in the state.
They said the sector “is at the brink of collapse.”
The doctors under the auspices of National Association of Government General and Medical Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) who have been on strike for the past three weeks in the State, said government must wake up from its slumber and ensure people at the grassroots have access to quality health care delivery.
Addressing journalists at the weekend on the strike which has paralysed activities in 19 general hospitals, 3 state specialist hospitals and all primary health care hospitals across the state, the chairman of NAGGMDP, Dr Kolawole Adeniyi noted that the doctors were left with no other option but to embark on the industrial action following government’s failure to respond to their demands.
Adeniyi explained that all efforts by the striking doctors to get the attention of government to their plight on the need for government to improve the welfare of doctors and working environment have not yielded the desired results in the last ten years.
He argued that the recently unveiled state health insurance scheme by the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi would achieve little or no results without well-motivated personnel and adequately equipped facilities across the 16 local government areas of the state.
According to him, “Ekiti State Government remains unperturbed about the germane and critical issues being raised. Ekiti State has refused to commit itself to the protection of health care professionals, at a time when nations and civilisations are offering every support for this cadre of workers, more importantly in the face of the present COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the good sons and daughter of our dear State to please join us in the appeal to the Government of Ekiti State to heed to our demands to safeguard the health matrix in our dear State which is at the brink of collapse.”
While saying that the health service of the state is longer attractive to new medical graduates as result of the nonchalant attitude of government to quality health care, Adeniyi revealed that hordes of their colleagues are abandoning the state to seek greener pastures in neighbouring states due to poor conditions of service in Ekiti.
“Five (5) of the General hospitals in the State have only one doctor each while the 3 State Specialist hospitals have a total of 6 and 7 medical doctors respectively.
“Out of 20 doctors employed in December 2015, only 5 are left. Out of another set of 20 doctors again employed in 2018, 6 are left. Out of 20 specialists (consultants) employed cumulatively since 2016 only 5 are left. Unfortunately, many more are only waiting for opportunities to leave. This has resulted in a progressive decline in the number of doctors from as much as 180 to as low as just 71 currently.
“It is even more disturbing that out of this number, less than ten (10) are at entry level while many are close to retirement. One can then ask what the future holds for the common man who is seeking affordable and qualitative healthcare close to his/her neighbourhood in few years to come,” he said.
To address the drift, Adeniyi called for immediate implementation of their nine demands which include: proper placement for doctors with full CONMESS, promotion benefits, hazard allowance, rural posting allowance, consequential adjustment on new minimum wage and other demands aimed at giving doctors in the state good working condition to deliver optimal services to the people at the grassroots.