Ondo Doctors Threaten Strike Over Poor Welfare, Salary Disparities


The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Ondo State has given the state government a seven-day ultimatum to address the issues of poor welfare, salary disparities, and non-implementation of hazard allowance for doctors in the state. 

The association warned that it would embark on an industrial action if the government failed to meet its demands.

The NMA made this known in a communique issued after its Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) held on Friday, February 9, 2024. The communique, signed by the state chairman, Dr Omosehin Adeyemi-Osowe, expressed dissatisfaction with the continued exodus of doctors from the state to other states and countries due to unfavourable working conditions.

The communique read in part: “This is not unconnected with the point of entry into the service which has been reviewed and approval given by the federal government to be at grade level 13 step 2 for doctors. However Ondo state is still using grade level 12 step 3 hence, the refusal of doctors to take up employment with the State Civil Service as witnessed in the last exercise conducted by Ondo Civil Service Commission.”

READ ALSO: Enugu Resident Doctors to Commence Indefinite Strike Over Lack of Doctors, Insecurity

The NMA also lamented the dire shortage of health personnel in the state, especially at the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex (UNIMEDTHC) and the state general hospitals. It said that some units at UNIMEDTHC, such as neurosurgery, orthopaedics, and mental health, had no resident doctors or consultants, while some general hospitals had only one doctor each.

The communique added: “The OGM noted with grave concerns the non-implementation of the approved hazard allowance; approved for all doctors in Nigeria in December 2021 and has been implemented for all doctors working with federal government for the past 26 months ago and in almost all the states of the federation. Our neighbour, Ekiti State has been enjoying it for almost one year. This was eventually approved by Ondo state government in August 2023; it took over 60 days before the approval could be circularized. It was eventually done on 23rd October 2023, with the implementation period backdated to 2nd October, 2023 but now 5 months after, no payment have been made by the state government.”

The NMA also condemned the huge disparities in the salaries of doctors working in Ondo and those working in neighboring states such as Ekiti, Osun, Kwara, and Edo, as well as those working with the federal government. It said that this was unfair and demoralizing to the doctors in the state.

The NMA urged the state government to urgently address the issues raised in the communique and avert the looming industrial disharmony in the health sector. It said that the doctors in the state were committed to providing quality health care to the people of the state, but they needed to be adequately motivated and remunerated.