Ondo: Resident doctors, legal officers commence indefinite strike

More Nigerian doctors and health workers have tested positive for coronavirus

The Association of Resident Doctors in the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH) on Monday began its indefinite strike action over non-payment of four months’ salary.

This is just as the legal officers in the Ondo State Ministry of Justice under the auspices of Law Officers Association of Nigeria (LOAN) withdrew its services over what it termed worsening despicable and deplorable conditions its members were subjected to.

Last week, the UNIMEDTH ARD had embarked on a three-day warning strike with a threat to totally down tools if their demands were not met.

Acting President of ARD, Ondo State, Dr. Sanni Oriyomi, who spoke to journalist in Akure said they could no longer pretend that all was well with them.

Deal of the day

Dr. Oriyomi stated that besides the non-payment of salaries, there were issues of dearth of doctors and House Officers.

Oriyomi said the COVID-19 hazard allowance was paid for only one month and that the Resident doctors sought accommodation for themselves instead of residing in houses provided by the hospital management.

He said the absence of House Officers is affecting health of his members.

According to him, “Having persevered to render services, our salary has become issue of concern. We are finding it difficult to meet up with our financial obligations.

“We are calling on the government to come up with solutions. It is not in our interest to embark on this strike but enough is enough.”

Spokesman of the Ondo ARD, Dr. Taiwo Olaigbe, said the state health system was on the brink of collapsed.

Dr. Olaigbe insisted that they would not return work until all their salaries are paid.

Meanwhile, the Ondo Legal Officers in a statement signed by its chairman, Babatunde Victor Falodun and Secretary, Wale Banisile and addressed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said the work-to-rule strike action would persist until their demands are met.

The statement said administration of justice in Ondo State has suffered untold hardship due to constraints of funds and abysmal condition of service.

It said legal poverty must end in the state as the state counsel are the least paid in the country.

Other demands were stoppage of the N187 State Counsel Allowance and upward review of same to reflect current reality, end to commercial motorcycling to courts as well as release of funds approved for outfit/Robe allowance since March 2020.

The acting Ondo Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye, said the state government was already working towards ensuring the Resident doctors receive their salaries same day with the civil servants.

Dr. Adeyeye said the plan was to move the doctors’ salaries to the central pay system.