Resident doctors give govt three-week ultimatum to pay salary arrears

The Southwest Caucus of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has threatened to down tools in the next three weeks if the state governments fail to meet their demands.

In a communique issued yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, by the Caucus Leader and Deputy Leader, Dr Sebastine Oiwoh and Dr Taofeek Sanni, the doctors demanded the immediate payment of the backlog of their salary arrears from the state government.

They decried the alleged lackadaisical attitude of government at all levels towards their welfare, describing it as unfortunate and uncalled for.

NARD said the issues they were complaining about had been in contention for over three years without any resolution in sight.

The resident doctors demanded the payment of what they called the correct and not mutilated salary within the period when they will hold their annual general meeting (AGM).

According to them they “cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector if this persists beyond that time”.

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Demanding the immediate upgrade of infrastructure at teaching hospitals, the doctors said: “The state of mind of doctors is pivotal to quality healthcare delivery and output. This is coupled with the fact that services being rendered by medical doctors are not only essential but life-saving. It is unimaginable the untoward effects this will cause should the condition of service of these cohort of workers be left inadequately unattended to.

“These effects include neglect of the health of the highly esteemed populace, internal and external brain drain, burnout, loss of man-hours, loss of accreditation for both undergraduate and postgraduate training, among others.

“Therefore, it is unexpected that a governor and state government will neglect investment in human and material resources that are in abundance in the Health sector.

“We take special notice of Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) where our colleagues are being owed huge amounts of salary arrears to the tune of 14 months, among other emoluments. This situation has lingered since 2015 without a solution. Despite numerous constructive engagements of the governor and the management of the hospital, the situation seems unyielding.”

“Also worthy of note is the poor condition of service at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo; same in Ogbomoso as well as Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja; Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State, where our members are being owed varying months of salary arrears, coupled with poor conditions of service.”

The resident doctors urged the public, well-meaning Nigerians, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and President Muhammadu Buhari, to prevail on the affected governors, especially Abia State Governor and the management of ASUTH, to ensure proper conditions of service of their colleagues.

“It is our belief that our appeal will yield positive results soonest as the association will not hesitate to do the legally needful in order that our members are treated well,” NARD said.