By Paul Nanchang
Medical doctors working in government-owned hospitals in Plateau State under the aegis of National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners of Nigeria on Tuesday threatened to embark on an indefinite strike action if the state government fails to meet their demands within two weeks.
The medical doctors who addressed journalists in Jos lamented the acute shortage of manpower and working tools in all government-owned hospitals in the State, explaining the situation has caused brain drain, leaving the number of medical doctors working in the State-owned hospitals to less than 60.
State Chairman of the Association, Dr. Dubi Koplamma, and Secretary, Dr. Bapiga’an Audu expressed disgust over the nonchalant attitude of the State Government despite what they termed, “humane disposition and understanding by our Association in the face of the challenges.”
They further decried the unexplained withdrawal from their salaries and asked that “the State Government should refund our members all monies insensitively deducted from our salaries without any further delay.”
The Chairman who read the text stressed, “We held an emergency Congress on Sunday, 20th February 2022, the Congress made the following observations: That the State Government made deductions from our members’ salaries without any communication to us. That despite having reached an agreement with the government in August 2020 on issues about the full implementation of CONMESS, manpower shortages, poor working conditions, medical residency training fund, and other sundry issues.
“The government has refused to reach out to us for discussion despite repeated overtures from the leadership of the association to initiate discussions…”
In a nine-point demand, he added, “The Congress unanimously rejects the current table being used by the government in paying us salaries, we demand that the government revert to the CONMESS table which is the appropriate template used for computing the emoluments accruable to medical doctors in Nigeria…
“Government should pay the outstanding June 2020 COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement allowance still being owed us. Government should implement a rural posting allowance for all our members. Government should as a matter of urgency address issues that have to do with manpower shortages and other issues raised.
“We hereby give our employer 15 days’ notice to immediately begin implementation of the aforementioned items. We can no longer guarantee industrial harmony within the Hospitals Management Board beyond this period and shall be withdrawing our services if nothing is done to address these repeated, provocative and undeserving acts of injustice being meted out to our members, the further added .
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