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The Ogun chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has threatened to shut down the State’s medical facilities from September 20 over what it described as shortchanging of its members in terms of payment of salaries and allowances by the Dapo Abiodun administration.
Ogun Chairman of NMA, Dr Ogunlaja Oladayo, who addressed newsmen on Monday at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, expressed concern that the state government had failed to enter into negotiation with the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) which suspended its strike on September 7.
ARD OOUTH had suspended its strike to allow for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with government over the agitations for regularisation of pay and other welfare demands at a meeting brokered by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo between the medical workers and the State government.
The MOU was to be produced within the two weeks at the instance of the Speaker.
However, the NMA Chairman, while speaking on the development on Monday expressed concern that the government had failed to start discussion with the doctors one week after it had suspended the strike as agreed.
Oladayo hinted that the ARD will fully resume the industrial action on September should the state government fails to commit itself on the payment of the appropriate remuneration.
According to him, the inappropriate remuneration affects all the medical doctors in the employ of the state and not only the Resident Doctors.
Oladayo explained that less than ₦35million is required monthly to effect payment of the appropriate remuneration of all about 600 doctors employed by the state.
He ruled out allegations that the strike was politically motivated, saying the agitation the ongoing administration, but the government had been adamant.
Oladayo said “All the doctors in Ogun State are actually agitating for this same problem.
“We are waiting for the government to start meaningful discussions on this problem.
“If the government does not resolve this issue by the 20th September, 2020, ARD in OOUTH and their senior consultants will resume this industrial action.
“And after their resumption, let me say categorically, that NMA which I’m representing cannot guarantee that all doctors in Ogun State will be at work.
“We will regret any action or inaction that may follow this suspension of two weeks strike if government doesn’t do the needful.”
Reacting to the threat, the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Communication, Remmy Hazzan promised that the government would engage the doctors this with a view to addressing the agitations.
He said “I am confident that the interface that necessitated the suspension in the first place is not taken for granted. I’m also not unaware of the agitation of the national bodies of the unions.
“What they are asking for which is a further discussion with state government will definitely happen this week. I’m not unaware of the pressure many of them are getting from the national bodies, as a government we understand that. But we are very much responsible and true to our words.”
“We are the one asking that they come to the table, if they say they are willing; I don’t see any reason why we should renege on our intention to be at the table.”