The Ogun State branch of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, on Wednesday announced it would join the strike being planned by the national leadership of the association.
The association had warned that its members would go on the strike unless the Federal Government addressed issues relating to their practice and welfare, including provision of adequate medical equipment in public hospitals.
At a joint press conference in Abeokuta, medical doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu and Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Abeokuta, declared support for the impending strike.
The conference was attended by leaders of the association in the various institutions. They include Taiwo Babajide (FMC), Akintola Akintunde (OOUTH) and Oluyemi Akinmolayan (Neuro-psychiatric Hospital).
Also at the event, the South-west coordinator of the association, Oluseyi Aderinwale, said doctors in the zone would participate fully if the national body declared the strike.
Mr. Babajide of the FMC, who spoke on behalf of the doctors, lamented that government was not giving the health sector the attention it deserves.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health was undermining staff welfare in its tertiary health institutions through improper entry point placement of doctors and non-adjustment of grade levels and steps to correct errors in the previous template.
“The entry point of house officers as corrected has not been circularised despite agreements and directive to do so”, Mr. Babajide said.
He accused the ministry of implementing vindictive measures against doctors legally agitating for their due entitlements.
The association also claimed that pension deduction and remittance for its members have been erratic at best, which it noted completely negates the underlying principles of pension.
It stressed that government has been insincere in dealing with the pension challenges of its members.
“The Federal Ministry of Health has illegally and wrongfully withheld the December 2015 salaries of our members in FMC, Owerri. It is yet to release the final white paper on template”, Mr. Babajide further stated.
“Our members in state health institutions still groan under the enormous burden of several months of unpaid or percentage salaries”, he added.
Mr. Babajide said government has failed to implement the National Health Act, 2014 which would have served as a panacea for some of the challenges in the health sector.