The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) in Kwara has commenced a seven-day warning strike across the 16 local government areas of the state.
Chairman of the association, Dr Saka Agboola, announced this on Monday at the sidelines of an emergency Congress by members in Ilorin, the state capital.
He explained that the association had been patient and given a series of ultimatum to the state government concerning their agitation on the welfare of members.
Agboola stated that as much as it was painful for the executives to reach such a decision, the congress has unanimously agreed on a seven-day warning strike.
This, according to him, is to give room for engagement with the government on some of their agitations, including the good condition of service, especially in the payment of new remuneration to the members of the union.
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“We are not this form of pressure group, but it has gotten to a point that the wellbeing of doctors in Kwara has to be seriously looked into,” Agboola said.
“We have responsibilities to our families, our neighbours, and even to our patients. There is a need to remunerate the doctors to get efficient output.
“This is the more reason why we have engaged several fora at every opportunity to resolve our demands, but it is unfortunate that at the expiration of the ultimatum given, we have not been able to reach a comfortable agreement.”
Agboola noted that the one-week strike action would afford the government opportunity to re-engage the association.
Reacting to the development, the Director-General of the Kwara State Hospital Management Bureau, Mr Sa’ad Aluko, said the state government has been making effort to resolve the demands of the doctors.
He stressed that it was only a question of time, adding that the state government had met with the leadership of the association to look at ways to reach a resolution.
According to the bureau chief, the state government has already agreed to a 70 per cent increase out of the 100 per cent that is being agitated by the association.
“Based on the total algorithm and internally generated revenue, everything has to be looked into,” he said.
Aluko disclosed that the state government has set up a committee to find a balance between what was being requested and what was on the ground, adding that additional healthcare workers have been employed in the state hospitals.