Breaking: Doctors’ Strike looms in Ondo, as NMA calls for payment of Hazard Allowance

By: Oluwatosin Adesola

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Ondo State chapter, has called on the state government to commence immediate implementation of health workers’ hazard allowance to avert looming  strike by medical doctors working in the state government’s hospitals.

Addressing newsmen in Akure on Monday, the State Chairman of NMA, Dr Omosehin Adeyemi-Osowe, said his members working under the state government had been patient enough over the failure of the government to implement a 100% Hazard Allowance for them.

Dr Adeyemi-Osowe, declared that the Association may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector if the state government failed to release a circular for the implementation of the health hazard by tuesday 24th October, 2023.

Dr Adeyemi-Osowe, said the hazard allowance which had been approved since August this year, said the federal government and some other state governments had been paying their doctors.

Speaking in Akure at a press briefing  on The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) 2023 PHYSICIANS’ WEEK, the State NMA Chairman said, “as we all know and can bear witness to, our dear country is passing through a very difficult time and we as citizens bear the brunt. We as an association are exploring all peaceful avenues towards securing some economic reprieve for our beloved members.

“The progress towards payment of slightly improved salary to our members is just too slow. We are using this opportunity to call on government to immediately commence the payment of the recently reviewed CONMESS and CONHESS salary structures with their arrears and also the Accoutrement allowance for medical doctors and dentists.

“I hope there won’t be need for us to engage in another round of agitation for the implementation of what has been circularized since July 2023. Let’s make hay while the sun shines.
We use this medium to humbly sound a note of warning to all and sundry to never try to run Nigerian doctors down in anyway but to always follow due process if aggrieved or in discharging their responsibilities.

“If anyone has any case against a doctor practicing in Nigeria, it should channel such to the Registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for appropriate response being the body statutorily saddled with such responsibility.

“The Nigerian Medical Association hereby express her displeasure at the recent media trial of some healthcare workers by the Minister of Women Affairs. We believe that such behavior is infra dig for one that occupies such a lofty office.

“NMA wishes to denounce the persistent attempt by certain individuals and bodies to interfere with regulation of medical education and standards especially as it relates to board licensing of foreign trained medical graduates. We have reviewed in detail the processes and content of these exams and we make bold to say that any medical graduate that fails them should be humble enough to seek help and not engage in brazen arm twisting and blackmail.

“We stand with the MDCN on this and encourage the Registrar to remain undaunted as no one can intimidate him while we watch. As stated in the Physicians’ Pledge, we shall do all within our power to “defend the honor and noble traditions of medicine”.

“We wonder why it is only the medical
profession that faces this onslaught? Other courses are also read in Ukraine, Sudan, Egypt, Belarus, etc. But it is medicine that must be forced to accept all and sundry to practice whether qualified or not. If our government does not value the life of
Nigerians then the NMA does and shall insist on not unleashing terror on Nigerians by licensing unqualified medical and dental graduates.

“Those that pass the licensing exams are not aliens. If you cannot pass then seek help and try again. We wish to especially call on our beloved National Assembly to resist being used under any guise to compromise the quality of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

“If Nigerian trained doctors and dentists are poorly trained, they won’t be in high demand worldwide. Our government should immediately investigate the quality of medical education being offered to our children in Ukraine. Let us stand up in defense of the health of an average Nigeria. As the great physician Hutchinson said “from making the treatment of a disease worse than the disease O Lord, save us”.

“This is our prayer for all those trying to foist ill trained graduates on Nigerians as doctors. As Nigerian doctors continue to deliver free medical and surgical treatment (The Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh Free Medical Outreach) to vulnerable Nigerians once every four months, I implore all doctors to also remember to take care of your own health in other to deliver care of the highest standard to our patients. I call on all of us to be more patient with our patients as many Nigerians are passing through trying
times and hence may be a bit more difficult to handle,” said Dr Adeyemi-Osowe.

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