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Ondo doctors’ strike: Association insists six-month salaries unpaid, says CMD lied

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TAIWO Olagbe, spokesperson of the protesting Association of Resident Doctors, Ondo State Medical Teaching Hospital, Akure has refuted claims by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Oluwole Ige, that the doctors were not being owed six months salaries.

Speaking with The ICIR on Tuesday in a telephone interview, Olagbe maintained that resident doctors working at the hospital were owed six months salaries by the state government.

“Please you have to disregard that. I must tell you, no right-thinking people in their right senses would want to go on a full-blown strike for being owed just for a month,” Olagbe said, refuting the CMD’s claim that the doctors were owed just one-month salary.

“It will interest you to know that there is a communiqué they signed with us, pleading with us not to go on strike, and in that communiqué, it was stated that they were going to pay two months salaries plus one-month arrears that cut across all board.

“So my question is that if you are owing just a month, how come are you asking to pay two months and just one arrear?” he said.

Recalled that resident doctors, Ondo Medical Teaching Hospital on January 10, embarked on an indefinite strike over a six-month backlog of unpaid salaries.

During the protest, Olagbe and members of the association accused the state government of using a divide-and-rule system. He disclosed that 33 out of over 150 doctors in the hospital received December wage during the festive period.

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Olagbe said the government had refused to pay both salaries and allowances, and “It is on the basis of this that we have resolved to embark on the strike action”, noting that doctors would only return to their duties when all backlog of salaries are cleared. 

Reacting to the development, the CMD, UNIMEDTH, Ige dismissed claims by the resident doctors that they were owed salaries for six months, describing the strike action as ‘a calculated attempt to embarrass the hospital’s management and state government’.

However, the CMD, in a telephone interview with The ICIR, insisted that not all doctors protesting were owed for six months based on their varying time of employment.

“That is not correct, those who are involved are not even employed at the same time. How can they be owing them the same thing?.

“Some were employed two months ago, will those people be owed six months salary?” the CMD said.

He, however, assured that arrangements are being made by the state government to pay all arrears and salaries on or before the end of the week.

“Initially, we were thinking of paying part of the dept but Mr Governor concluded that everything should be paid.

“So arrangements have been concluded by Mr governor. All arrears will be paid and that would be concluded before this week runs out,” Ige said.

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