Medical doctors in Edo State have commenced a 5-day warning strike to ensure that their demands for better working conditions, human capacity development, and other needs are met.
This was disclosed to newsmen Dr. Emmanuel Osaigbove, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the course of a meeting in Benin. It was also stated that both doctors in local government and federal government institutions would participate in the strike action.
He also revealed that the commencement of the action on Wednesday would paralyze all health services in the state. According to Osaigbovo, the association has been negotiating with the Edo State government for more than a year with no positive headway.
“The Edo doctors have been highly marginalized, their welfare has been relegated to the background.”
“We have given ultimatums and then later shelved them due to intervention by well-meaning Edo people. We are forced today to take a decision we did not want to take.”
“We are telling Edo people that we are taking this decision, a hard one because the state government has refused to listen to anybody. We are truly sorry for the pains Edo people will pass through,’’ he said.
He revealed that the state-owned health institutions were dilapidated and that only a mere 200 doctors were on the state’s payroll.
“We want the government to look into all these and others,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Health expressed his shock over the decision of the association to embark on a planned strike.
“I am surprised about this; they have been part of the committees to get solutions for the health sector.The governor even set up a committee to look into their demands and we have been working together.”
“The committee on their salaries, which they are part of, has also looked into the salary review and we came up with an additional N30 million for the wage bill for doctors only.”
“The governor said we should look into graduating the increment because incurring additional N30 million monthly would make other sectors to suffer,’’ he said.