UMTH resident doctors begin warning strike
The industrial action plan was contained in a statement in Maiduguri yesterday by the chapter’s NARD Vice-Chairman, Dr. Joseph Gadzama, noting: “Our members are complying with the directives to go on a six-day warning strike.
“With the directive on compliance to this warning strike, only few members are operating, giving skeletal services to emergency victims at the Accident and Emergency Unit of UMTH.”
Gadzama explained that the strike was to address government’s lapses on the issue of non-payment of skipping for medical officers in teaching hospitals.
According to him, “there had been seven days ultimatum before this warning strike.
“The association wishes to bring to the notice of the public that the fragile peace in the health sector is being rocked today. This is as a result of the verbal directive by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awutie, to Chief Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to stop skipping for medical officers.
“The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) remunerations committee had resolved this issue amicably with the permanent secretary after an interactive session in his office in March this year.
“The Federal Government has also approved the payment of the skipping with an official backing from the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation in December 2013.”
According to him, the NMA was totally opposed to the reversal of the implementation of the skipping, especially in the effected centres were the Ministry of Health has not demonstrated adequate commitment to pursuing the matter in court.
“We urge Nigerians to bear with us and to know that we have their interest at heart,” he added. “We also assure you of our cooperation in case of any emergency anytime, anywhere.”