Dr. Peter Attah, Chairman of NMA, Nasarawa State.
Cecilia Onah, Lafia
Due to the poor welfare packages of Doctors across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state, the Nigeria Medical Association, Nasarawa State branch, has issued a 21 days strike ultimatum to the state government to address issues affecting its members.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lafia on Tuesday, Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr. Peter Attah, said failure of the state government to implement the Doctors’ demands within the stipulated time, would spur the association to embark on an industrial action.
He mentioned the challenges being faced by members of the association to include Non-implementation of promotion for Doctors and Annual salary increments; Non-implementation of Minimum wage and Consequential adjustments; Non-implementation of the reviewed Hazard Allowance and the accrued 17 months Arrears; Inadequate manpower and overwork of Doctors; High burden of Taxation on Doctors; and Medical Residency training fund payment.
He said, “The challenges we are facing are enormous, we just decided to come up with these ones for now, and we hope that the state government will look into the matter from today June 13 till July 3, 2023, when we will be embarking on an industrial action if our demands are not met by the state government.
“We are not demanding these things just for ourselves, we also want our patients to enjoy good healthcare services, because there are so many equipments that we are yet to have, we still refer many of our patients to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and the services could have been provided here.
“The Nasarawa State NMA is looking at the possibility where each of our general hospitals should have a minimum of four Doctors, depending on the locations of the hospitals.”
Dr. Attah further lamented that no fewer than 27 Medical Doctors had left the state since January 2023 due to the poor condition of service, and urged Governor Abdullahi Sule to hastily address the issues raised by the association in order to tackle brain drain in the health sector.
“In this year alone, over 27 Doctors have left us to seek for greener pastures due to the poor welfare packages. We cannot continue to lose our Doctors, that is why we have decided to embark on this strike if the government fails to meet our demands in 21 days from today.
“So, we are appealing to Governor Abdullahi Sule to use his good office to settle these issues so that we will continue to serve all residents of the state in our capacities as Medical Doctors,” he added.