HEALTH

Ondo doctors are ready to negotiate – NMA chairman

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Ondo State says it is willing to negotiate over its ongoing strike over the state government’s payment of half salary to its members.

According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu informed labor leaders that borrowing to supplement salary payments was no longer viable, resulting in the payment of half salaries to state employees.

Doctors in the state have rejected the government’s position, claiming that they couldn’t make ends meet on a 50% pay.

In a telephone conversation with NAN on Monday, Dr Stella Adegbehingbe, the state’s NMA Chairman, said that physicians in state-owned health facilities could no longer bear the non-payment of their salaries, adding that the last time they were paid was in February.

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“As of today, Aug. 2, the last time we received salaries was in February. What doctors are demanding is 100 per cent salary payment. That is the position of doctors in Ondo,” she said.

Also speaking to NAN, Dr Tope Olagbe, the Chairman of NARD in the University of Medical Sciences, Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH), Ondo, stated that doctors were not working on percentage, therefore, they could not entertain half payment of salaries.

“Currently, all doctors in Ondo State, those on residency training and those working in General Hospitals and Specialist Hospitals have been on strike for over a month now.

“The state government has been paying percentage of salaries. Doctors are not working on percentage. Even doctors in the state are inadequate, having one doctor in a situation and place that requires 10 doctors.

“The work load is too much on doctors and despite this the government is offering percentage payment,” he said.

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