Why doctors’ salaries are delayed, by Ondo government
Allays fears of paralysed health sector
The Ondo State government has allayed the fears of its citizenry over the rumours being peddled in some quarters that the health sector of the state has been paralysed.
This is sequel to the strike embarked on by the Association of Resident Doctors of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex (UNIMEDTHC), Ondo, over two to six months unpaid salary arrears.
The aggrieved doctors, after a protest last Friday, had gone on strike, attributing their action to the refusal of the hospital management to pay their salaries and employing “divide and rule” tactics by paying few of them.
But the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Jibayo Adeleye, while addressing journalists in Akure yesterday, said the allegations by the resident doctors were untrue.
Adeyeye noted that the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration places topmost priority on the sector and welfare of the health workers, saying that it was the newly-employed doctors that were affected.
He, however, admitted that the state government owed the doctors two to three months, and that the difference was due to the continuous employment policy by the management.
According to him, the irregularities being experienced at the moment are borne out of the fact that the institution is a new one and government is making frantic efforts to stabilise its operations.
The governor’s aide added that the management was mainly handicapped by the bureaucracy of government, especially the non-appropriation provisions made for the new employees in the 2019 budget.
He said the management had had several meetings with the aggrieved doctors to explain the bottleneck facing the management, dispelling the “divide and rule” allegation.
He said that the move to pay some doctors was jointly agreed to by the association.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Oluwole Ige, lamented that the strike was a calculated attempt to embarrass the state government and the management.
Ige stressed that most of the doctors were only being owed one or two months’ salaries, adding that it was a peculiar problem associated to new establishments.
“We do not have over-bloated workforce like it’s being said in some quarters and that it affected us from payment of salaries for our doctors. There is no month we don’t pay salaries. We are not in crisis and we are not happy for being in the news for the wrong reasons.”
“Imagine those we employed in November joining the protest? The highest month we are owing is two or three months to some newly employed doctors, not all our doctors.
“Payment of salaries to newly-employed doctors take administrative processes and we promise to pay all arrears before the end of next week.”
He urged the aggrieved doctors to return to duty, assuring that arrangement had already been made for the payment of their salary arrears as the 2020 budget has swung into full implementation.