Kogi doctors begin indefinite strike

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Kogi State has directed  its members to embark on an indefinite strike action from  Wednesday (today) following disagreement between the doctors and the state government.

The disagreement was as a result of the failure of the state government to pay the outstanding salaries and arrears to doctors in the state.

The NMA said it had an agreement with the state government over the issues affecting its members but government had failed to honour the agreement.

A communiqué issued at the end of an emergency the congress of the association in Lokoja, the state capital signed by the Chairman, Dr Tijani Godwin and the secretary, Dr Zubair Kabiru, on Tuesday, said the association was disappointed at the action of the state government for not honouring the agreement.

The doctors said the suspension of the strike earlier embarked upon was to enable government to act and implement the agreement reached.

The communiqué read, ” In spite of suspending our strike action for two months to allow peaceful resolutions of issues bothering on, special consideration to all doctors employed in 2015 as earlier documented in the memorandum of understanding signed on the 9th of January 2017 between Kogi State government and NMA, failure to clear nine doctors after providing necessary documents as required by the screening committee, under payment of salaries and arrears of doctors that has been paid,  implementation of the new tax regime without commensurate promotion and stepping of doctors in the state civil service, and advertisement for employment of more doctors, despite inability of the present administration to implement adjusted Consolidation Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS), the government failed to reciprocate this kind gesture.”

NMA however warned doctors to be cautious of accepting employment offers by the state government, saying government had not paid all the doctors currently in her workforce nor implement the adjusted (CONMESS).

The NMA however wanted government to “retain and pay the arrears of all the doctors employed in 2015 as they have waited patiently while providing healthcare service in the state for over 15 months without salaries, clear and pay the remaining nine doctors whose name did not appear on any list and issues of underpayment of salaries and arrears should be corrected forthwith.”

The doctors also asked government to return the new tax regime to status quo, or promote doctors accordingly before implementation as they canvass for uniform taxation among all the doctors in Kogi state civil service.

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