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Medical doctors in the employment of the Ogun Government on Tuesday vowed to embark on an indefinite industrial action by August if the state government continues to ignore their demands.
The doctors, under the aegis of the National Association of Government General Medical Practitioners, made the threat during a news conference in Abeokuta.
The association said the continued failure of the state government to accede to their requests would force them to withdraw their services, totally, by September.
The state branch Chairman of the association, Dr Oladunni Adetola, said NAGGMDP was dissatisfied with the state of health infrastructure, equipment and the dearth of medical personnel in the state hospitals.
“The condition in the state general hospitals across all the zones is weighing on the poor health indices of the state.
“Most of our equipment and machines are grounded. Suctioning machine, oxygen concentrator and suturing instrument needed for emergency service are not available.
“Some of the structures actually need to be demolished and rebuilt. A good example is General Hospital, Itori, which has cracked walls everywhere.
“Also, the progressive reduction in personnel arising from statutory and voluntary retirement of some staff has put pressure on the available health workers,’’ Adetola said.
He cited the example of the state hospitals in Ijaye and Ijebu-ode, which he said had 16 and 10 medical officers respectively instead of the optimal standard of 48.
“In addition, we have grouse with government over the wide disparity in our salaries from our counterparts in other health institutions in the state.
“We have written several letters to the governor and other arms of the state government, the latest being two weeks ago and no reply from the government.’’
Adetola also said that the doctors concerned had in the past embarked on several industrial actions, to press home their demands and that government had repeatedly pleaded with them to return to work.
Responding to the doctors’ threat, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Babatunde Ipaye, said the state government was not unmindful of their agitation.
He, however, pleaded with the doctors to show government some understanding.
“The harsh economic reality of the country has stalled major projects being carried out in parts of the state.
“As we speak, the state is carrying out some major rehabilitation of health facilities and structures across the state,’’ Ipaye said
He said, however, that the state did not owe any doctor salaries.