Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu has lamented the delay in the payment of their salary, hazard allowances and unfair treatment of government.
The association also denied signing any MOU with the state government over their plights.
In a statement by the association’s President, Dr. Popoola Abiodun, and General Secretary, Dr. Osundara Adewale, the body said when there is big reward, there are valiant men.
The group queried: “How does government expect us to be valiant in the face of COVID -19 when we have been having perpetual delays in the payment of salaries, coupled with unresolved issues before them?”
The statement entitled “Ogun Resident Doctors Protest Continued Unfair Treatment,” stated that “perpetually, we have also been having our salaries delayed for no good reason. We had our salaries in April paid at the middle of May, when other workers in the state were paid in April.
“Other workers in the state have been paid their May salaries as of May 21, but here we are still expecting the miracle.
“This kind of ill-treatment does not speak well of a government that proclaims to care for all.
“We must also say that this set of doctors (our members) working in the COVID-19 treatment centre have not been paid their April allowance, let alone having their May allowance. Yet they have not been slothful in their duty.
“Our wait is now one week gone but up till now, the government has been evasive. As it stands, some people are even misleading the governor by telling him we signed an MOU. Noting can be that far from the truth.
“Some real truths are either concealed away from His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State or there is unnecessary loafing with the truth.
“First, we were arbitrarily downgraded at a time when residents in other locations in Nigeria were already at a level ahead of us. So, it was double jeopardy! Eventually, our members started leaving in drones to other institutions in Nigeria.
“OOUTH, the first state-owned teaching hospital in Nigeria where the zenith of healthcare should be domiciled, became a shadow of itself.
“After our agitations, the governor ordered the employment of residents to fill in the vacuum created by the exodus, but then he had not addressed the reason for the exodus, which was the wide disparity in remuneration between resident doctors in Ogun State and residents in federal institutions and other states.
“This clearly is at variance with the edit upon which Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH was founded.
“When the government decided to brush aside our calls, we were forced to declare a three-day warning strike. Only then was a meeting called and all the engagements have not shown any commitment to address the fundamental demand.
“The statement stated further that up till now, all we have heard is that our hazard allowance will be increased by 300%. In plain terms, this is only an increment of N15,000.
“We have, therefore, resolved to stay at home on weekends and discharge our duties only during working days of the week because of our concern for the people in these trying times.
“Our members working directly in the COVID-19 treatment centre are left to discharge their duties uninterrupted within this waiting time, after which we would reappraise and determine what next.
“We had a meeting on May 27 with our parent body (NMA) and some other elders in the profession overall the issues raised, and it was agreed that indeed we have done well to have been patient and tarried this far.
“NMA also consented to the fact that our agitations are factual, objective and not out of place.”