By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”HUNDREDS of patients in all the Edo State owned hospitals have been evacuated, while over ten were said to have lost their lives, following the strike action embarked upon by health workers in state hospitals last week Thursday over alleged failure by the state government to implement the new salary scale for health workers in the state.
Vanguard learnt that a mild drama occurred at Igarra, Edo North Senatorial District of the state last Thursday, when members of the Edo State Hospital Management Board led by its chairman, Dr John Ogbeide, who also is the chairman of the Labour Party in the state, undertook a tour of the state owned hospitals but escaped being lynched by health workers in Igarra, who reminded them that they have embarked on an indefinite strike and therefore would not tolerate any visitation.
However, Vanguard learnt that Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who was shocked over the strike action since his government on its inception, lifted the ban on employment of health workers and increased salaries of health workers in the state, wondered why the strike action could be embarked upon.
It was, however, learnt that he was not too happy with the way some of his officials handled the matter and was doing all he could to ensure that it was called off early this week.
A visit to the Benin Central Hospital, indicated that relatives of patients have evacuated them to private hospitals as the public hospitals are empty.
Vanguard learnt that the health workers met with the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Moses Momoh, last Thursday, but they were infuriated after he told them to exercise patience for two years to enable the state government work out the modalities for the payment of the new salary scale.
Dr Osagie Aiwerioghene (Nigerian Optometric Association), who spoke to Vanguard on the situation of the strike, weekend, insisted, â€œWe will continue with the strike unless the state government gives us specific date when they will implement the new salary scale this year.
We are sorry about the effects it is having on the common man but we have no choice than to do what we are doing.â€