By Sunday John
Members of the Nasarawa State Chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), have threatened to embark on a 3-day warning strike from Sunday midnight over welfare issues.
Dr Bulus Umaru, Nasarawa State Chairman of NMA disclosed this while briefing journalists on Friday in Lafia.
According to him, the association has given the state government enough time to address the demands of the association but that the state government has been insensitive to the plight of its members.
He listed some of the demands of the association to include; high tax, lack of promotion of its members since 2012, 22 months arrears of corrected salary structure amounting to over N400 million among others.
The chairman explained that the union had shown understanding with the government toward ensuring industrial harmony, but the government had failed to reciprocate the efforts in the management of public health in the state.
“In February this year, the government setup a committee to look into all our demands with the view of addressing them, but as I speak to you the committee is yet to be inaugurated.
“As such, we are left with no option than to speak the language the government understands better, which is strike.
“For the warning strike which will commence Sunday midnight, it is only doctors in public hospital that will participate in the planned exercise.
“But if they fail to do the needful during this period of the warning strike, doctors in the private sector would also join any strike to be declared by the association.
The NMA Chairman appealed to members of the public that it was not the intention of the association to go on strike but stressed that “the government should be held responsible for any death if the strike is allowed to go through.”
When contacted, Roseline Kela, the Commissioner for Health, said that the state government was doing everything possible to meet the demands of the doctors, given their essential services.
She appealed to the association to show “little patience” with the state government, adding that government was preparing for transition to the next government on May 29.