Ondo doctors begin two-week strike over pay, poor welfare

Peter Dada

Doctors in Ondo State under the auspices of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners have embarked on a two-week warning strike, alleging that the state government is not taking their welfare seriously.

Specifically, the doctors accused the government of failing to pay their salary arrears for some months, failed to resolve the issue of exodus of doctors and other health workers among other matters, hence their service was withdrawn.

The association stated this in a letter sent to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The letter, which was signed by the state Chairman and Secretary of the NAGGMDP, Roland Arohunmolase, and Richard Obe, respectively, was made available to our correspondent on Thursday.

The letter was titled, ‘Notice of withdrawal of service’.

It read, “With due respect to your office, we write to notify your office of the immediate withdrawal of service by our members working under Ondo State Government Civil Service.

“Following the ordinary general meeting of our association held on Wednesday 9th of June, 2021, members resolved at proceeding on a two-week warning strike, starting from 8 am, 10th of June, 2021.”

According to the letter, some of the grounds for the industrial action are non-payment of salary arrears being owed health workers in Ondo State (January 2017, March, April and May 2021), gross understaffing of government hospitals.”

Other grounds for the strike include the mass exodus of doctors and other health workers from the state, non-regular payment of salaries and non-harmonisation of doctors’ grade level in Ondo State Civil Service as approved by Mr. Governor which is contained in the letter written to the Nigerian Medical Association Ondo State in March 2021, among others.

The letter further read, “Against this backdrop, we wish to let you know that our members have been overstretched and their emotional intelligence badly affected.”

When contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo, declined comment on the matter.

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