NMA gives Abia December deadline for payment of salary arrears
The Abia State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has given the state government up to the end of December 2018, to pay doctors in the employment of the State Health Management Board (HMB), and Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), all their salary arrears or face industrial crisis.
The NMA issued the ultimatum in a communiqué issued after its Ordinary General Meeting (OGM), held in Umuahia, Abia State.
The association reviewed the state health sector with the submission that the secondary and tertiary sub-sectors are not properly funded despite the quality and dedicated manpower available.
NMA branch Chairman, Dr. Carol Iwuoha, and Secretary, Dr. Umenwa Joachim, jointly signed the communiqué.
However, the State’s Finance Commissioner, Obinna Oriaku, was quoted denying that the government owed ABSUTH workers 10 months salary, claiming that the government only gives ABSUTH subvention.
But the workers described the Commissioner’s claim as highly provocative, and capable of grounding the health system in the state.
The communiqué explained read in part, “the OGM observed the precarious welfare state of members of the Association working at the HMB and ABSUTH, and that HMB experienced arbitrary slash in their salaries for over three months.”
The NMA urged the Finance Commissioner to withdraw his statement and desist from deliberate act of misinforming the public, thereby adding more pain to the aggrieved workers.
The communiqué warned that the NMA may not be able to guarantee harmony in the state if this untold hardship being inflicted on its members persist, hence it urged all elective political office seekers in the 2019 election to be mindful of this and make public their agenda for the health sector.
It appreciated their members, who despite being owed arrears of salaries, have continued to give healthcare to the people of the state.