Doctors In Nasarawa State Threaten Strike, Give State Government 21-days Ultimatum

Doctors in Nasarawa State under the umbrella of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), have given Governor Abdullahi Sule 21-days ultimatum to address welfare issues concerning their members.

Dr. Peter Attah, NMA Chairman in the State made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Tuesday (June 13, 2023) in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

Nasarawa State NMA Chairman, Dr. Peter Attah addressing journalists

The ultimatum according to Dr. Peter Attah starts from Tuesday, June 13 and ends July 3.

He said that should the government fail to address the issues raised, their members will have to withdraw their services.

Some of the issues raised by the NMA include; non-implementation of promotions for doctors and annual salary increment for over nine years, non-implementation of N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustments.

Others are; non-implementation of the reviewed hazard allowance, circular and the accrued 17 Months arrears, high burden of taxation and inadequate manpower and work overload.

He said 25 doctors who were employed in 2014 at Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) Lafia and the Hospital Management Board were not promoted for nine years now.

The NMA Chairman added that the association had visited the Governor in January 17, 2023 and tabled the issues for his consideration, but wandered why nothing was done to address them.

According to him, the association had given the State Government enough time to address their demands but the government has been insensitive to their plight.

The Chairman explained that the association have shown understanding with the government towards ensuring industrial harmony, but the government has failed to reciprocate the gesture.

Dr Attah further said that 27 Medical Doctors have left the services of the state in the last one month due to poor welfare package.

“20 Doctors resigned from DASH and seven from the Hospital Management Board in the last three weeks,” he said.

He explained that the shortage of doctors is putting so much pressure on the few that have decided to stay, to the extent that doctors now preferred to work in rural areas than facilities in town.

He said the standard of World Health Organization is that one doctor is expected to attend to about 600 people, but the ratio in Nasarawa State is one doctor to more than 20,000 people.

Dr Attah advised that it is better to improve welfare of doctors to curtail brain drain than to replace and they still leave after sometime.

The NMA Chairman suggested upward  review of hazard allowance, call-duty allowance,  reduce tax and not tax the allowances as well as give doctors vehicles and housing loans as part of measures to curtail brain drain in the state.

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