The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ondo State chapter, has given Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa a seven-day ultimatum to resolve the challenges in the state health sector or face industrial disharmony.
They also demanded the implementation of the federal government’s approved hazard allowance for medical personnel in the state.
The state NMA Chairman, Dr Omosehin Adeyemi-Osowe, stated these while reading the association’s communiqué to newsmen after their Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) in Akure, on Friday.
He said the notice became necessary as the health sector in the state had continued to fall below standard.
The chairman said the sector was also faced with brain drain resulting in some units of the University of Medical Sciences in the state teaching hospitals lacking in medical personnel.
He said that such units include the Orthopaedics, Burns and Plastic, Ear, Nose and Throat, Mental Health, and Paediatric Surgery.
Adeyemi-Osowe said that “the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex in the state has 22 resident doctors compared to the previous figure of 150.
“Some weeks ago, eight doctors left the Obstetrics and Gynaecology unit at the state hospital for the same unit in another teaching hospital.
“The meeting notes with grave concern the non-implementation of the hazard allowance approved for doctors in the country in December 2021 which has been implemented for federal government doctors in the past 26 months and in some states.
“Ekiti State has been enjoying it for almost one year now.
“Ondo State Government approved it in August 2023 but it took over 60 days for it to be circularised.
“It was eventually done on October 23, 2023, with the implementation period backdated to October 2, 2023; it is now five months, yet no payment has been made by the state government,” he said.
Adeyemi-Osowe alleged that despite the government’s advertisement for employment of doctors, people were not willing to take up the appointment based on the entry Grade Level 12, step 3, as against GL 13, step 2 approved by the federal government.
“The OGM enjoins the state government to resolve the issues of non-availability of equipment at some critical units in our teaching hospitals, the CT scan that has been non-functional for over 12 months and lack of ventilators at the ICU.
“The disparities in the salaries of doctors in Ondo State Civil Service (an oil-producing state) and that of the neighbouring states, especially Ekiti State (a non-oil producing state) should be looked into to bridge the gap, without further delay,” he said.
The chairman said the association was concerned about the state of the neurosurgery department of the teaching hospital with respect to provision of doctors and consultants.
The chairman pleaded with religious leaders, traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders to prevail on government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector for a healthy state.
He commended his members for still holding forth despite the numerous challenges.
“Let us continue to give our best for the good people of the state while believing that it shall be better,” he said.
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