Bayelsa Doctors Threaten Strike 

Nigerian-Medical-Association

The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Bayelsa State branch, on Tuesday threatened to begin an industrial action if the state government refuses to pay the over 5-month salary arrears owed its members.

Israel Jeremiah, state chairman of the association, announced at a news conference at the association’s secretariat in Yenagoa,  that the NMA has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government to pay up or face a strike action.

According to Jeremiah, three affiliates of NMA in the state, namely the Association of Resident Doctors in Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri; Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, will be taking part in the strike

He noted that House Officers, who are the most vulnerable in the medical profession, are currently faced with untold hardship as they can no longer meet their obligations.






     

     

    “Despite the untold hardship occasioned by this nonpayment of salaries for five months now, our members have kept faith with our Hippocratic Oath and continued to render services to ensure that Bayelsa people enjoy adequate healthcare. The continued non-payment of salary has adversely affected healthcare delivery in the state. Hospital attendance has markedly reduced, patients can no longer procure drugs, pay for tests, settle bills on discharge and in the worst case scenario, opt to die at home,” Jeremiah said.

    The NMA said it was not part of the agreement reached with organised labour that workers in the state would take 50 per cent salary pending the improvement of the state’s revenue.

    The association said since it was excluded from the meetings where the agreement was reached, its members would not be bound by the agreement, hence they will insist on full payment of their salaries.

    The NMA however urged the Speaker of Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Konbowei Benson, Royal fathers, and all well-meaning people in the state to intervene in order to avoid the impending strike and the attendant consequences.

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