By Harris-Okon Emmanuel
UYO—Doctors in Akwa Ibom State have demanded the immediate implementation of the State Health Insurance Law to take care of the health needs of indigent citizens of the state and the payment of 14 months’ salary arrears.
State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Nsikak Nyoyoko, made the appeal when he led members of the association to visit the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke, at work in Uyo.
According to him, “the implementation of the law will alleviate the sufferings of poor people in the state, who cannot afford healthcare services and this category of persons fall among the 89 percent of Nigerians that live below poverty line in the country.”
He lamented what he described as the state government’s neglect of doctors’ welfare, especially the non-payment of 14 months salaries arrears owed doctors between November 2014 and December 2015, and sued for the payment of six months CONMESS arrears from June to December 2015, four months’ salary arrears owed recently-employed medical officers; from January to April.
Dr. Nyoyoko implored the state government to defray the two months’ salary arrears and 50 percent of salary arrears owed the doctors in the Akwa Ibom State University, AKSU, adding “it sad that there are no call rooms in some hospitals in the state.”
He decried lack of sponsorship for training, delay in promotions and non-release of subvention for running cost to medical superintendents.