Edo State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Afekhide  Omoti has given the Edo State government a 21-day ultimatum within which to pay the July and August 2014 salaries of doctors under its employ or face strike.

Omoti in a statement Tuesday in Benin City, said if the state government did not heed to the demands of the association, all doctors working in public hospitals in the state would withdraw their services to press home this demand, which he noted includes failure of the state government to implement the full consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS), poor infrastructure and lack of appropriate working tools with consequent poor health care delivery in the state as well as gross shortage of health manpower in Edo State.

  He lamented the dearth of medical infrastructure in the state and other the deplorable state of existing state owned hospitals and other state health facilities and gross shortage of health manpower in Edo State has resulted in “work overload for the few available, unmotivated hands rendering services in extremely difficult working conditions.” Omoti decried the, “Non-payment of the withheld July and 2014 salaries due to the participation of Edo State doctors in the NMA national strike between 1st July and 25th August, 2014, despite several appeals notwithstanding the fact that there was a no victimization agreement.

NMA said the Federal Government and other states in Nigeria and the FCT apart from Lagos have paid the salaries. “We also note that members of other professional unions including the Academics Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were paid their salaries in spite of the fact that they embarked on a six-months nationwide strike.”

   He added that failure of the Edo State Government to address the issues within the stipulated timeframe, members of the Edo NMA will embark on a strike action and stop all medical services from 8a.m. Monday 2nd, February 2015, stressing that Edo State government should as a matter of urgency do all within its capacity to resolve these issues and avert this avoidable crisis in the health sector in Edo State

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