The Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (AGGMDP) in Ekiti State has appealed to the government of the State to immediately commence the implementation of the ‘skipping’ policy as the only condition to suspend the ongoing strike, Premium Tines reports
The appeal was made during the week in a memo to members of the association.
According to Kolawole Adeniyi, chairman, (AGGMDP), the government has already implemented and commenced payments and benefits contained in the policy to their counterparts at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) adding that the government should do same for the association.
“To serve as a reminder, we hereby highlight below for the record our demands; immediate implementation of financial benefits of promotion up to date; immediate implementation of the remaining 50 per cent of rural posting allowance; immediate payment of teaching allowance; immediate payment of regular hazard allowance; immediate payment of special COVID-19 hazard allowance as contained in the MoU between the federal government, NMA and health workers’ unions.
“Skipping is the only thing that can alter the equilibrium of the strike in favour of suspension which is one of the nine demands,” the memo further stated, adding that; “We will like to encourage the house that this is a “once in a lifetime” struggle, for the dignity of doctors. It’s beyond cash and selfish interest but for the liberation of all. Let’s fight it to finish, once and for all. And in conclusion, we will want to appreciate the level of compliance to the strike. Nobody gets freedom easily, you fight for it; not on your knees, but standing, sweating and sometimes bleeding,” he said.
Adeniyi urged his members to continue with the struggle adding that it is the only way to achieve its demand from the government.
“We will also like to encourage the house to stand firm and be always ready to engage anyone if the need arises on the reason for our strike and how much we have shifted position enough.”
On the other hand, according to findings by Development News Network, the state’s chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has faulted the government for its laxity on the non implementation of the basic health policies in the state adding that the administration has rather preferred to adhere in catering for the welfare of workers in the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) managed by the state’s Health Management Board (HMB).
Tunji Omotayo, state chairman, NMA says, “The Ekiti State Hospitals’ Management Board (HMB) is responsible for the management of the hospitals and has about 70 doctors to run the 22 specialist and general hospitals. This means an average of three doctors per hospital with some of the hospitals having only one doctor.
“The three specialist hospitals had 15 consultants but are now left with just five. In the primary healthcare system, there are only 12 doctors leaving some local government areas without clinical cover for their PHCs. The secondary healthcare facilities are worst hit with not only external migration of its doctors to other states but also to internal migration to other hospitals in the state where they are attracted to better conditions of service.
“The implication of failure to implement skipping is that doctors will only endure the hostile working conditions in the employment of the HMB until they can secure a more attractive employment elsewhere. This is the reason why the number of doctors under the employment of the HMB will continue to dwindle. And just like ‘skipping,’ only the doctors in the employment of the HMB are not being paid hazard allowance. Unlike other doctors all over the nation, this has not been paid to HMB doctors for over 10 years.”
The association added the lingering strike action would result to overstretching of facilities at the state’s teaching hospital.