Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Ekiti State has come out to reveal the details of the reason behind the industrial action being embarked upon by its members in the State.
Describing the rate of deterioration in Ekiti Health Sector,NMA seriously lamented what it called deplorable condition in primary and secondary health facilities in the state.
The doctors under the aegis of National Association of Government General and Medical Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) (afflliate of NMA)had been on strike for the past three weeks in the state.
They called on the government to do the needful and ensure accessible quality health care delivery in all the Communities in the State.
Addressing Newsmen at the weekend on the industrial action which has paralysed activities in 19 general hospitals, 3 state specialist hospitals and all primary health care hospitals across the state, the chairman of NAGGMDP, Dr Kolawole Adeniyi noted that the nonchallant attitude displayed by the government on their demands propelled the doctors to resort to industrial action.
Adeniyi added that all moves by the striking doctors to get the attention of government to make attempt at improving their welfare and provide conduicive environment which have constituted a challenge for a decade have proved abortive.
He argued that the recently unveiled state health insurance scheme by the governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi would achieve little or no results without a well motivated personnel and adequately equipped facilities across the 16 local government areas of the state.
According to him, ” Ekiti State Government remains unperturbed about the germane and critical issues being raised. Ekiti State has refused to commit itself to the protection of health care professionals, at a time when nations and civilisations are offering every support for this cadre of workers, more importantly in the face of the present covid-19 pandemic.
” We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the good sons of daughter of our dear State to please join us in the appeal to the Government of Ekiti State to heed to our demands to safeguard the health matrix in our dear State which is at the brinks of collapse.”
Adeniyi added that the health service of the state is longer attractive to new medical graduates as result of the non-chalant attitude of government to quality health care.
He disclosed that many of their colleagues are leaving the state to seek greener pastures in neighbouring states due to poor conditions of service in Ekiti.
” Five (5) of the General hospitals in the State have only one doctor each while the 3 State Specialist hospitals have a total of 6 and 7 medical doctors respectively.Out of 20 doctors employed in December 2015, only 5 are left. Out of another set of 20 doctors again employed in 2018, 6 are left. Out of 20 specialists (consultants) employed cumulatively since 2016 only 5 are left. Unfortunately many more are only waiting for opportunities to leave. This has resulted in a progressive decline in the number of doctors from as much as 180 to as low as just 71 currently.
” It is even more disturbing that out of this number, less than ten (10) are at entry level while many are close to retirement. One can then ask what the future holds for the common man who is seeking affordable and qualitative healthcare close to his/her neighbourhood in few years to come, ” he said.
Adeniyi added that the panacea to the strike action would be immediate implementation of their nine demands which include ; proper placement for doctors with full CONMESS, promotion benefits, hazard allowance, rural posting allowance, consequential adjustment on new minimum wage and other demands which aimed at giving doctors in the state good working condition to deliver utmost services to people at the grassroots.
He said the health facilities available in Ekiti only domiciled in the State capital which constituted a threat to peoples life especially the grassrooters.
” if things continue the way at the moment, Ekiti residents might in no distance time start to run to other neighbouring states for help.”
He called for support of well meaning citizens of the state to join the efforts in waking up the government to come alive to it’s responsibility and save the lives of people at the grassroots with adequate provision of affordable and quality healthcare services .