Members of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Osun State Chapter, marched on the streets of Osogbo, the state capital on Thursday, to protest the state government’s payment of half salaries.
They also decried the state of healthcare in the state, saying it was witnessing a total collapse.
The chairman of the Osun State NMA, Tokunbo Olajumoke, while speaking during the protest, said the state of health infrastructure was responsible for the death of a former senator, Isiaka Adeleke.
He said the nearest government health facility to Mr. Adeleke’s residence had no equipment that could have aided his resuscitation, hence he died before he could be rushed to hospital at the state capital.
Mr. Olajumoke, who spoke at the popular Olaiya Junction, said Mr. Adeleke died of cardiac arrest, even though a state-named coroner inquest concluded that the politician died of drug overdose administered by an unqualified medical personnel.
He warned that the health system in the state could collapse completely in the next three months if nothing was done urgently.
Mr. Olajumoke said despite claims by the state government to have spent N10 billion on the health sector, government hospitals could only boast of paracetamol.
He said the payment of half salary had persisted for 16 months without any hope of resolution.
The NMA chairman stated further that, despite payment of half salary, the state government had found it convenient to make full tax deductions.
The Commissioner for Health, Rafiu Kusamotu, appealed to the medical personnel to be patient, assuring that steps would be taken by his ministry to address the issues raised accordingly.
Mr. Kusamotu the government needed some time to allow the newly-constituted cabinet settle down.
He said the management and distribution of drugs, which was hitherto supervised by the local governments, would henceforth be handled by the state ministry of health for efficiency.
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