Osun doctors stage protest against half salaries, threaten strike


Some doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Osun State, on Thursday staged a peaceful protest in Osogbo against continue payment of half salaries by the state government.
The doctors dressed in their laboratory coats and branded shirts during the protest.
They marched from the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH) Complex, Osogbo through the popular Olaiya Junction to other major streets in the state capital.
The doctors were armed with placards of various inscriptions and singing anti-government songs.
Dr Tokunbo Olajumoke, the state NMA chairman, told newsmen during the protest that there was no drug nor equipment in any of the state government-owned hospital.
Olajumoke said that this was contrary to the state government’s claims that it had spent N10 billion to improve the sector.
He said that many sick people lost their lives in the state due to non-availability of drugs and modern equipment for doctors to work with in the hospitals.
Olajumoke said that the doctors might consider strike as the last option, if the protest failed to achieve the desired result.
He said in spite of the fact that the doctors were receiving half salaries, government was still deducting full tax from what he described as “amputated salaries”.
Olajumoke appealed to the state government to improve facilities in the hospitals and pay full salaries to the doctors.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Kusamotu, appealed to the protesting doctors to be patient with the state government.
Kusamotu said though, there was need for proactive intervention in the sector, the state government needed little more time for the newly constituted cabinet to get its feet firmly on ground.
He said that the management and distribution of drugs, which was hitherto supervised by the local governments, would, henceforth, be handled by the state Ministry of Health for efficient management.


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