Doctors in Ondo state have protested over the non-payment of their salaries for six months.
The doctors, who marched within the premises of the Ondo State Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital in Akure, wielded placards and chanted songs to express their grievances.
The Chairman of the association, Dr. Shittu Abiola, said the doctors embarked on the protest because they were suffering unimaginable hardships and that every move to engage the government to address the issue has turned deaf ears.
“We gave Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu seven days ultimatum to address our agitation or we will embark on an indefinite strike,” Abiola stated.
On his part, Olagbe Taiwo, general secretary of the association, said members could hardly afford their daily bread. Taiwo said the doctors have resorted to trekking to work because of a lack of money to pay transport fares.
It would be recalled that in 2019 the said resident doctors embarked on strike following the government’s failure to pay their salaries, ranging from two to six months. Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye, Special Adviser to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Health, stated this while speaking on the strike by resident doctors in the two hospitals due to non-payment of their salaries by the government.
Adeyeye said the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by resident doctors was caused by the inability to appropriate the hospitals’ funds in the last fiscal year.
He explained that the hospitals began operations after the annual fiscal Appropriation Bill had been concluded and signed into law, thereby leaving the hospitals to run on little funds available pending the next Appropriation Bill for the 2020 fiscal year.
So far, Ondo has recorded 13 cases of COVID-19. Two health workers reportedly tested positive for the disease in the state.