Medical doctors in Osun State have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if the government fails to meet their demands within 21 days. The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Osun State branch, Tokunbo Olajumoke, said in Osogbo on Monday that the decision to issue the ultimatum was reached at an emergency meeting of the association. According to him, all medical doctors in the state would join the strike at the expiration of the ultimatum. Reading a statement jointly signed by himself and the state NMA secretary, Olalekan Ajayo, he said lack of drugs and consumables and basic amenities were unchecked in hospitals across the state. He said besides non-payment of salaries of doctors, the medical practitioners had no equipment to work with. Mr. Olajumoke urged the state government to address the issues without further delay. “Following over two years of appeals, engagements and discussions with the state government on the decadence in the health sector in Osun state, the association hereby give a 21-day ultimatum from today August 28 to September 17, 2017,” he said. “At the expiration of the ultimatum, the association will be left with no other choice than to immediately withdraw our services in the state.” He said the NMA called on traditional rulers, members of the National Assembly and the Osun State House of Assembly and other stakeholders to prevail on Governor Aregbesola to do the needful so as to save the health sector in the state from further collapse. “The demeaning level of care being meted upon medical practitioners by the state government is best described as a vicious cycle of poor remuneration with consequent unsatisfactory career, flight of already scarce medical practitioners and then a subsequent pseudo-employment that does not last for a reasonable time,” Mr. Olajumoke said. “Expectedly, in view of the neglect in the sector, there has been an untoward effect on the good people of the state as evidenced by the increasing mortality and morbidity indices of the state.  “Despite accessing various funds, including the monthly allocations, ecological funds, project repayment funds (largely undisclosed), N11.74billion and N6.314 billion as her own share of the first and second tranche of the Paris club refund respectively, the state government has continued to pay our members varying percentages of their emoluments, in the range of less than 30 per cent in the last 24 months as against what is stipulated by the wages and salaries commission of our dear nation. “The state government, despite agreement to the contrary has also continued to withhold between four and six months salaries of our members during the period of industrial action embarked upon by some of our affiliates when the state government unilaterally slashed their salaries without any form of discussion.

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