By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, yesterday announced its resolve to begin an indefinite strike after its 14-day ultimatum issued to Imo state government expired.
In a statement to newsmen in Owerri, by the state chairman of NMA, Kyrian Duruewuru and Secretary; Ogaziechi Kenneth added that all doctors both from the state and federal institutions would be part of the strike.
The reason according to NMA was that their grievances were not given the desired attention by the state government.
Duruewuru, recalled that “The NMA Imo state in line with its resolutions during its an emergency general meeting which held on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at the NMA, Imo state secretariat, Owerri, issued a 14-day ultimatum from Thursday, April 4, 2019.”
As part of their demands included the call for “Immediate payment of 30 per cent balance of the monthly salary of doctors which has accrued for 40 months.
“Immediate payment of the three-month arrears of salary owed doctors in the state employ.
“Accreditation of departments in the IMSUTH to train resident doctors. Sponsorship of resident doctors to update and revision courses relevant to their postgraduate training as is statutorily obtainable in tertiary health institutions in other states.
“Restoration of full subvention from the state government to IMSUTH, Orlu, immediate repair of access roads to IMSUTH, Orlu, improvement in infrastructure in a state-owned health institution.”
He continued: “Recall that whereas other staff in Imo State University Teaching Hospital, IMSUTH, Orlu, Imo state Specialist Hospital, Umuguma and Hospital Management Board, HMB, enjoy adjusted salary structure with regard to skipping of a grade level, salaries of medical doctors in these institutions are still based on old consolidated medical salary structure, CONMESS, devoid of relativity and grade level skipping.
“Also, for the past four years, medical doctors in the state receive seventy per cent of their salaries, Again, these doctors are owed three-month arrears of salary, specifically, January to March 2019.
“The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Imo state has engaged the state government and it’s relevant organs severally, on the above issues through correspondence, appeals and conciliatory meetings.
“Affiliates of the association in the said state institution, particularly the Association of Resident Doctors, IMSUTH, have also employed similar peaceful means to address this glaring injustice. Sadly all these efforts failed.”
NMA added that “The association also directs it’s members in the state employ to commence an indefinite strike at the expiration of the ultimatum if the above issues are not satisfactorily addressed.
All doctors in federal institutions in the state, as well as those in the private sector, shall join their counterparts in the state institutions two weeks into the industrial action.”