Resident Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba has suspended their services in solidarity with the Three days warning strike embarked upon by Doctors under the employ of the Delta state government.
Announcing their decision to join the state Doctors who embarked on industrial action today, Monday, July 27, 2020, the Resident Doctors frowned at the inability of the state government to provide adequate resources for medical personnel in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference, the President, Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, FMC Asaba, Dr Nwabunor Osifo flanked by the Public Relations Officer, Dr Alexander Awunor, said that the group’s decision in line with the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, is to drive home the demands of their colleagues and not to hurt Deltans.
Dr Osifo stated that as frontliners in the race to curbing the spread of Coronavirus, constant provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and payment of Covid-19 hazard inducement allowances were germane in motivating the Doctors to go the extra mile of risking their lives. However, this is not the case for the state medical personnel.
He said, “we are throwing our weight behind the State NMA Strike. We join our colleagues at Delta State University Teaching Hospital, DELSUTH, State Hospital Management Board, colleagues in Universities and other tertiary health institutions and embark on this course as injury to one, is an injury to all.. We want to appeal to the Delta State Government to pay Covid-19 hazard inducement allowances to our colleagues”.
Osifo expressed fears that with the towering cases of Coronavirus in the country which has claimed the lives of 18 Doctors including a foremost Doctor in the Sate, the provision of adequate PPEs and regular payment of hazard allowances were not negotiable, adding that, tax rebates for Doctors should also be implemented by the state government as incentives.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to the state government that they should comply with the agreement by the Nigeria Governors Forum to pay the Covid-19 hazard inducement allowances to our state colleagues and tax rebate to improve the welfare of our state colleagues because we are going through difficult task in fighting this virus.”
While noting that of the six months Covid-19 allowance promised Doctors working in the Federal Institutions, only two months, April and May have been paid and their colleagues working in DELSUTH Oghara, HMB, State Ministry are yet to receive a dime, “yet we are all exposed to the same virus”.
The Resident Doctors however assured that their colleagues working in the Covid-19 isolation centres are exempted from the industrial action.
He expressed confidence in the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa to rescue the situation, but warned that the Resident Doctors will not hesitate in joining the State NMA in its next line of action if their demands are not granted.
The Doctors called on members of the public to stay safe and adhere strictly to the health guidelines in preventing the spread of coronavirus, emphazing that Covid-19 is real.