By Sunday Akintoye
Doctors in Ogun State have threatened to resume industrial action on September 20 if the state government failed to meet their demand for improved welfare services.
Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Ogun State chapter, Dr Ogunlaja Oladayo, while addressing newsmen on Monday at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, expressed concern that the state government had failed to enter into negotiation with the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) which suspended its strike on September 7.
It would be recalled that the ARD OOUTH had suspended its strike to allow for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with government over the agitations for regularisation of pay and other improved welfare demands, which the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo brokered peace between it and the government .
The government had said that a Memorandum of Understanding would be produced within the two weeks period which was at the instance of the speaker.
However, the NMA Chairman, while speaking on the development, expressed concern that the government had failed to start discussion with the doctors one week after it had suspended the strike as agreed.
Oladayo hinted that the ARD would fully resume the industrial action on September 20 should the state government fail to commit itself on the payment of the appropriate remuneration.
According to him, the inappropriate remuneration affected all the medical doctors in the employ of the state and not only the Resident Doctors.
Oladayo explained that less than N35 million was required monthly to effect payment of the appropriate remuneration on about 600 doctors employed by the state.
“All the doctors in Ogun State are actually agitating for this same problem. We are waiting for the government to start meaningful discussions on this problem.
“If the government does not resolve this issue by the 20th September, 2020, ARD in OOUTH and their senior consultants will resume this industrial action.
“And after their resumption, let me say categorically that NMA which I’m representing cannot guarantee that all doctors in Ogun State will be at work.
“We will regret any action or inaction that may follow this suspension of two weeks strike if government doesn’t do the needful.”
Reacting to the threat, the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Communication, Remmy Hazzan promised that the government would engage the doctors with a view to addressing the agitations.