By Kolade Larewaju
ABEOKUTA – GOVERNMENT health care system in Ogun State was, today, paralyzed as medical doctors in the state under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Association [NMA] members began an indefinite strike .
The strike followed the alleged refusal of the state government to implement the Consolidated Medical Salaries Scale (CONMESS) among other several other grievances of the doctors.
It will be recalled that doctors in the state last month shelved their strikes following a directive from the national headquarters of the (NMA) to all striking doctors to resume negotiations with their respective state governments.
Many patients who called at the state General Hospital, Ijaiye, Abeokuta, the one at Iberekodo in Abeokuta North Local Government and the General Hospital in Ijebu-Ode had to leave without getting the required treatment.
Addressing a press conference today, at the start of the Association’s one week long ‘’Physicians’ Week’’, the State chairman NMA , Dr. Adewunmi Alayaki accused the State Government of insincerity lamenting that immediately the doctors suspended the strike, the state government also suspended negotiation with us.
”Immediately we suspended the strike, they (state government) suspended negotiation they were having. That’s why in our SEC meeting last Tuesday, the NMA gave directive to all the associate bodies that are affected that they are free to resume the strike”.
While appealing to members of the public to bear with the Association, Alayaki lamented the poor state of medical facilities and poor condition of service of medical personnel in the state.
Reacting to the strike, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kunle Salako expressed surprise at the strike by the NMA saying “the Ministry of Health is surprised that the NMA is calling out doctors on strike especially after the meeting Governor Gbenga Daniel had with all health workers on Friday, 23rd October, 2010 and the commitment by the governor to see what can be done, once evidence of payment in other states is presented and the financial situation of the state improves”.