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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Plateau doctors plan 14-day strike over rural posting allowance

Under the aegis of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners of Nigeria (NAGGMDPN) Plateau Doctors in State-owned hospitals have issued a 14-day strike notice to the state government, threatening indefinite industrial unrest if the harsh working conditions, which have resulted in a high brain drain among others, are not addressed. 

The physicians expressed their dissatisfaction with the acute scarcity of staff and working instruments at all government-owned hospitals in the state on Tuesday, claiming that the situation has resulted in brain drain, with less than 60 medical professionals working in the state’s hospitals.  

At the press conference, Dr. Dubi Koplamma, the Association’s State Chairman, and Dr. Bapiga’an Audu, the Association’s Secretary, told journalists that they were disgusted by the government’s alleged carefree attitude, despite what they called the Association’s “humane disposition and understanding in the face of the challenges.” 

They criticized unexplained salary deductions and demanded that “the State Government immediately restore our members’ cash insensitively withheld from our paychecks.”  

According to the Chairman’s reading of the document, “On Sunday, February 20, 2022, we conducted an emergency Congress, and the Congress made the following observations: The State Government imposed deductions from our members’ pay without informing us. Despite reaching an agreement with the government in August 2020 on issues such as the full implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, or CONMESS, manpower shortages, poor working conditions, a medical residency training fund, and other issues, the government has yet to implement the CONMESS. Despite numerous attempts by the association’s leadership to commence dialogue, the government has declined to contact us for conversation…”  

He continued, in a nine-point demand, “The Congress unanimously rejects the government’s present table for paying our salary, and we demand that the government return to the CONMESS table, which is the proper template for calculating medical physicians’ emoluments in Nigeria. 

“The government should pay the COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance that is still owing to us as of June 2020. All of our members should be eligible for a rural posting allowance, which should be implemented by the government. The government should handle issues such as staffing shortages and other concerns as soon as possible”.  

“We hereby give our employer 15 days’ notice to immediately begin implementation of the aforementioned items. We can no longer guarantee industrial harmony within the Hospitals Management Board beyond this period and shall be withdrawing our services if nothing is done to address these repeated, provocative and undeserving acts of injustice being meted out to our members.” 

 

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