By Kemi Olatunde
Relief has finally come to patients in Ondo State as doctors in government hospitals yesterday called off their strike bringing soothing balm to the sick and their relations who were paying exorbitant fees to private hospitals.
The State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Stella Adegbehingbe broke the news of the suspension of the strike to The Hope.
She said the suspension was taken with stakeholders, affirming that doctors will be at their duty posts today.
She said, “The strike has been suspended. We just finished a meeting and work will resume tomorrow (today) by Ondo State doctors.”
Reacting to the development, a doctor who craved anonymity explained that although NMA has given the directive, a lot of doctors are not pleased with it as many doctors have reacted negatively to it on doctors’ whatsapp page where the information was passed across.
It would be recalled that doctors began the strike on February 5, 2021 due to government inability to meet their demands which include: skipping for all the state – employed doctors, full payment of all the salary arrears ( the remaining 20% of DECEMBER, 2016, 100% January, 2017 for all HMB – Employed Doctors, 100% June, 2020 for UNIMEDTHC – Employed Doctors.
Others are: the remaining 50% November, 2020, 100% December, 2020, 100% January, 2021, 100% February, 2021), 6-month COVID-19 allowance, Group Life Insurance Scheme, employment of more doctors to at least replace those that have left among others.
The strike called out by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has brought untold hardship to members of the public who had been compelled to seek medical attention in private hospitals.
Before the strike was called off, private hospitals were making fortune with an operation going for between N350,000 to N500,000 depending on the ailment.