By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
Resident doctors at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospitals, both Ondo and Akure complexes in Ondo State on Friday embarked on indefinite strike over unpaid salaries.
The doctors who in their large numbers had gathered at the Teaching Hospital complex as early as 9:00am displaying placards with different inscriptions high lighting their plights.
“We Are Asking For What We Have Worked For”, ” We Work On Empty Stomach Not Knowing When Next Will Come,” “A Hungry Doctor Is A Danger To The Society”, ” Our Salary Is Our Right, Not A Gift. Pls Pay Our Arrears”, Arakunrin Akeredolu Does Not Owe Salary, Why Is UNIMEDTHC Different? ”
According to the Chairman, Media Committee, Association of Resident Doctors, UNIMEDTHC, Dr. Taiwo Olagbe, the doctors are being owed 6, 5, 4, 3 months salaries depending on when they joined the service of the hospital.
He alleged that after several representations to the management and a protest to the Governor’s Office on December 23, 2019, all promises made by the Special Adviser to the governor on Health Matters and the Secretary to the State Government(SSG), Ifedayo Abegunde were not fulfilled.
The hospital management was also alleged of attempting a divide and rule strategy as the “management selected 33 out of over 150 doctors and paid them untagged one month, and the rest have nothing to give to their families for the Yuletide.”
They, however, resolved that before they could return to the wards, “All our arrears and backlog of salaries be cleared with immediate effect; issue of our welfare should be addressed and concerted action taken; that our wages and remuneration be paid directly into our accounts, we don’t want intermediary; that our strike has commenced at 12 midnight is total and indefinite till all our agitations are resolved, that we are against any form of victimization during and after the strike, if any of such happens, we will not hesitate to call out our members.”
The doctors, however, appealed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and all meaningful Nigerians to prevail on the management of the teaching hospital to pay third salaries.
Nevertheless, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro assured that the doctors would begin to receive credit alert starting from Monday next week.