As the industrial action embarked upon by medical doctors in Kogi state hits one month on Wednesday, the Nigeria Medical Association, has urged the State Government to do the needful by meeting their demands to avoid brain drain that has already started in the health sector.
NMA in Kogi had on Sunday, Jan. 7, directed its members to resume strike over an alleged failure by the state government to meet their demands.
The Kogi State Chairman of NMA, Dr Godwin Tijani, the Chairman of the association, in a chat with newsmen in Lokoja hinted that many people have died in the last 30 days as a result of the ongoing doctors strike in the state.
Dr Tijani noted that the government was yet to meet their demands as at today.
“Many people are suffering to access healthcare services and many have died of preventable diseases.
“This is not good for our healthcare sector; we have fewer doctors and many of them are leaving Kogi to other states with better pay. Also many doctors have got job and have left the state.
“Many of our doctors attended the recent interviews conducted by Zamfara, Niger and Yobe State Government, while others just came back from Abuja to attend interview conducted by Saudi Arabia.
“Those that attended Zamfara interview were about 30 doctors, and over 20 doctors for Yobe. We cannot afford to loss more of our doctors to the higher bidders.
“We are appealing to the state government to do the needful to prevent further brain drain that has already started in Kogi health sector. The time to act is now,” Tijani said.
Some of the demands of the striking doctors include: the inability of the state government to pay the doctors’ full salaries by paying 60 per cent of September to December 2017 salaries while some doctors were even yet to be paid.
The doctors want government to give a definite time line for the full implementation of adjusted CONMESS (new salary structure) for doctors in the state civil service and the accrued arrears since January, 2014.