By Steve Oko

The national leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has directed doctors in Abia State to proceed on indefinite strike over nonpayment of the salaries of doctors in the Abia State Teaching Hospital Aba,  and those in the Hospital Management Board.

The directive for the indefinite strike every Tuesday was contained in a letter addressed to the Abia State chapter of NMA and jointly signed by the National President of NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah; and the Secretary, Dr Jide Onyekwelu.

According to the letter sighted by Vanguard in Umuahia, the decision was reached at the 62nd Annual General Conference and Delegate meeting of the NMA in Port Harcourt, Rivers.

The letter read in part: “At the Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association NMA held at the EUI Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, it was resolved that all doctors in Abia State should immediately proceed on an indefinite strike every Tuesday till their salaries are paid.

“This was necessitated by the fact that Doctors at the Abia State University Teaching Hospital were owed 25 months’ salary while those at the Hospital Management Board were owed 11 Months Salary with no hope of resolution in sight.

“Kindly communicate this to all health facilities and personnel in the state, both public and private sectors.

“If the government does not respond after one month of strike, kindly revert to the President for more serious intervention.

“Be rest assured that the entire Nigerian doctors are with you in this struggle to redeem the image of our noble profession and bring succor to our members.”

Meanwhile, in compliance with the directive, the Abia State chapter of NMA, has directed all doctors in the state to down tools beginning from Tuesday, June 28.

The state Chairman of NMA, Dr Chimezie Okwuonu; and Secretary, Dr Robinson Ugwuanyi, in a joint statement said ” the action will be reviewed after one month by the National body for a possible escalation”.

It read in part:”NMA Abia State branch in her 2022 Ordinary General Meeting held on Sunday, 19th June 2022, declared every Tuesday of the week strike action in all public and private health facilities in the state in accordance with the National directive with effect from Tuesday, June 28, 2022.”

This is coming after about two months the National University Commission withdrew its accreditation to the Abia State University Uturu, citing inadequacies and protracted strike by the staff of ABSUTH.


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