Kwara doctors extend strike ultimatum

The Kwara chapter of the Nigeria Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGMDP), on Monday  extended the ultimatum on its impending strike, to Nov. 1.

Its chairman, Dr Saka Agboola, announced the extension in Ilorin at the end of an emergency congress of the chapter.

Agboola stated that the initial Sept. 13 deadline was extended because of promising gestures by the state government.

“Earlier, there was a 21-day ultimatum given. The ultimatum expired on Monday and a congress was held.

“Arising from the congress, we decided to extend the ultimatum by eight weeks to end on Nov. 1.

“Our decision to extend the ultimatum by eight weeks is borne out of empathy for the general public.

“We do not want to cause more harm to our people. Also government has shown commitment and serious concern to some of our demands; that is why we decided not to put too much burden on our people.

“We have reconsidered our decision and we are hopeful through the on-going negotiations that good things are coming out,’’ he said.

Agboola added that the chapter appreciated government for what it had been doing in the health sector, including the recruitment and prompt promotion of health workers and the renovation of infrastructure.

He stressed that notwithstanding the strides, doctors, the driving force in the health sector, had numerous challenges.

He lamented the frequent brain drain in the state’s health sector, adding that doctors needed motivation to make infrastructure provided by government to function optimally.

“We know that this government does not make promises without fulfilling them and we also want to believe that our case will not be different,’’ he said.

Agboola stated that by Nov. 1, another congress would be held to deliberate on the way forward.

He argued that with better remuneration, doctors would be motivated and ready to stay in the state and discharge their assignments effectively.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the doctors’ demands are recruitment of more medical officers in addition to constant replacement of those that were resigning on daily basis.

Others are provision of adequate security in hospitals to avoid the breakdown of law and order by patients and their relatives, payment of COVID-19 allowances to members and other health care workers, among others. 

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