Dayo Johnson Akure
Doctors under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors NARD in Ondo state have embarked on indefinite strike action.
This was in compliance with the directive by its National body to commence the industrial action today.
The doctors strike action is coming at a critical period that the country is experiencing a rise in the third wave of the COVID 19 pandemic.
A visit by Vanguard to the general hospitals and the Federal Medical Centre FMC in Owo showed that the strike action was the strictest adhered to by the doctors as they were absent from the wards and their offices.
Some of the doctor’s interviewed who spoke in confidence said that there was no backing down on the strike unless their demands are met by the government.
Speaking with Vanguard, the chairman of the association in the state, Dr Tope Olatilu said that the action was 100 per cent effective across that state.
Dr Olatilu told the vanguard that the doctors won’t return to work until government implement the agreements it entered with the union 113 days after it suspended the previous strike as a reason for the industrial action.
Speaking on the rationale for the strike, the chairman told vanguard that it includes the poor working environment in public hospitals, irregular payment of doctors salaries and hazard allowances of N5000 which was reviewed last in 1991.
Olatilu regretted government was handling the health of its citizens with levity.
He noted that “only four per cent of the total budget is allocated to the health sector, while 25-50 per cent goes into payment of those in power.
“That shows that priority lies more on the interest of those in power than on Nigerian citizens. He said.