Doctors In Imo Go On Indefinite Strike
By Iwedi Ojinmah 4 months ago
Medical doctors practising in hospitals and health facilities owned by the Imo State Government on Wednesday began what they say is an “indefinite strike action.”
The chairman, Nigeria Medical Association in the state, Kyrian Duruewuru, who briefed journalists in Owerri, accused the state government of treating the striking doctors unfairly.
The NMA chairman explained that the first phase of the strike would involve all doctors in Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Imo State Specialist Hospital, Umuguma, and Hospital Management Board.
According to him, the second phase of the industrial action would have all doctors in private hospitals and those in federal health centres in the state downing their tools.
Duruewuru asserted that while their colleagues practising in other states enjoy the adjusted salary structure for medical practitioners, the state government had refused to implement it in the state.
He said, “For the past four years, doctors in Imo State have received 70 percent of their salaries
“Also, the doctors are being owed three-month salary arrears by the Imo State Government.
“For us, this is highly unacceptable and very insensitive.”
He said that all the moves by the NMA to ensure that the situation was resolved had failed, hence the industrial action.
The doctors, who had earlier given a two-week ultimatum, said that they were demanding for the payment of their salary arrears and payment of the incomplete salaries which had accrued to 40 months.
Duruewuru said, “We demand, among other things, the immediate payment of 30% balance of the monthly salary of doctors which has accrued for 40 months; the commencement of full salary scale for medical doctors employed based on adjusted consolidated medical salary structure with relatively and grade level skipping; and the improvement of infrastructure in state-owned health institutions.”
Reacting, the state commissioner for information, Chidiebere Nze, said that the governor had paid adequate attention to the welfare of healthcare providers in the state.
He, however, assured that the government would ensure that the striking workers return to work as quickly as possible.