Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Medical doctors under the aegis of National Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners in Rivers State, yesterday, commenced a three-day warning strike over an alleged negligence of the state government in the health sector.
The doctors under the pay role of the Rivers State Government said their grievances are that the government failed to respond to some of the issue bordering on their welfare and good working atmosphere.
In a communiqué after a meeting between National Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners and Resident Doctors in Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt, the aggrieved doctors noted that the government did not comply to their earlier agreement.
Speaking, the chairman of the association, Dr. Sofiri Starson-Peterside said they decided to embark on the strike after the government had failed to respond to some of the demands which would ensure a good service delivering to the public.
Starson-Peterside noted that the ultimatum the association of doctors initially issued the government had elapsed, adding that the government had failed to bridge the man power gap in the health sector.
He said: “As the body of doctors that work for the government in River State, we gave a 21-day ultimatum to the state government to handle the issues that concerns the medical doctors. The ultimatum expired today but those issues were not met.
“The issues that were raised are pertinent issues that will improve the health sector of the state. We observed that the Rivers State government has not taken position in the corrected salary structure of doctors in the state. It suffices to say that other states have commenced the implementation of this structure.
“After extensive deliberation, we have found out that no visible attempt has been made to bridge the manpower gape in the health sector and that there is lack of capacity development in the health sector of the state, particularly the specialist training progamme.
“Following the warning strike from Tuesday to end Friday, a period of 14 days will be giving to state government to address all these issues. At the expiration of the 14 days if efforts are not made by the government, the association will be constrained to withdraw its services indefinitely.”