by KEMI OLAITAN
…as Resident Doctors threaten to down tools
…Give 2 weeks ultimatum for payment of salaries
The nation’s health sector may be in for another crisis as the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), yesterday, in Ibadan, warned that it might not hesitate to ground the sector nationwide if the eight states owing her members backlog of salaries and other entitlements failed to pay them within the next two weeks.
The national president of the association, Dr. Dan-Jumbo Prince, who led other members of the national executive to Oyo State gave the warning while addressing journalists at the state secretariat of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).
According to him, the states owing the resident doctors include Abia (12 months), Benue( 6months), Kogi (4 months ), Oyo (6 months), Osun (8 months), Rivers (4 months), Plateau (4months) and Lagos (2 months).
It will be recalled that the NARD executives stormed the state to visit the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, where they met members to appraise the situation on ground.
During the visit, they were not only miffed by the situation at the teaching hospital, but were equally sad that their members were being owed six months salary by the state government despite the fact that they had never gone on strike.
The situation of the resident doctors at the teaching hospital then led to the general appraisal of experiences of resident doctors in other states of the federation which led to the association’s two weeks deadline given to the states owing its members to pay them.
Dan-Jumbo Prince said they were disappointed with the state of decay in the hospital, a development which he maintained could not assist the hospital to deliver quality health service to the people and assist in the training of future doctors
. He added that they were miffed that all efforts at meeting the state governor over the plight of their members at the hospital and the general condition of the hospital did not materialize. He stated that “the governor has made himself unavailable.”
”How does the Oyo State government expect us to deliver safe, quality and effective healthcare to the people of the state and its environs in the face of this hardship.
How can we explain the situation where resident doctors at LAUTH , Ogbomoso, have not been paid salary since the beginning of this year, while other civil servants in the state employment have collected theirs. We are forced to believe that the Oyo State government is deliberately and systematically killing LAUTH, Ogbomoso”, he said.
He then reeled out a four-point demand on the Oyo State government which include the ”establishment of proper Hospital Management Board for LAUTH, Ogbomoso; ensure maintenance of the hospital infrastructures; have a renewed commitment towards remuneration of staff of LAUTH and ensure full fledge support for residency training programme.
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