By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin
Members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) on Monday, embarked on a nationwide strike in strict compliance with the directive of the body over their welfare.
Meanwhile, when Vanguard visited the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital on Monday afternoon, doctors were absent from work as many patients who had a prior appointment with their doctors were seen stranded on the premises.
Few of the doctors seen around were discussing in groups while others were seen throwing banters at each other.
Patients who had closer rapport with their doctors didn’t bother to come for the appointment as their doctors had told them that they won’t be on duty and that they would be informed when they return to work.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Ilorin, President of ARD-UITH, Dr Habeeb Badmus, said that members have no other option than to stand in solidarity with the call by the national body to press home their demands.
Habeeb accused the government of insincerity in fulfilling the agreement freely entered into, concerning the welfare of members describing the development as very unfortunate because of the toll it would take on the patients
He explained that the strike action is to ensure the smooth running of the health sector; adding that they can only do this when members welfare are given the desired attention.
He said, “We have to embark on this strike to press home our demands. The government is reluctant to implement the memorandum of action after 113 days. The NEC therefore unanimously resolved by vote to resume the total and indefinite strike action from 08.00hrs Monday 2nd August 2021”
Habeeb stated that part of their demand is the delay by the Federal Government in disbursing the Medical Residency Training Funds.
He added that “The association also decry the undue hardship members on Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform, due to the delays in payment of their salaries ranging from three to seven months,”
He also said that despite the government promise to migrate members from the GIFMIS to the IPPIS platform, they are still stuck on the GIFMIS platform which is laced with payment irregularities among other demands.