Officials of the Kwara State Government on Monday met with the members of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in a bid to prevent a strike by medical doctors in the service of the state government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the medical doctors had earlier given the government a 21-day ultimatum to attend to their requests or face a strike action.
NAN also reports that a truce was brokered at the meeting between the state government and the executive officers of NMA in Ilorin.
While the state government was represented by the Head of Service, Mrs Susan Oluwole, the NMA team was led by the Chairman, Dr Abdulkadir Ahmed.
Oluwole acknowledged the demands of the doctors but noted that most of the issues were not peculiar to the medical profession.
She said that government was already taking steps to alleviate the problems and enhance the welfare of the entire workers.
Oluwole enjoined members of the association to exercise restraint, stressing that the threat to embark on strike was uncalled for at this moment.
“Government has massive plan for the revival of particularly the health sector and by the time it is concluded, nobody will have reason to go to abroad,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Abubakar Ayinla also spoke on efforts by government to reposition the health sector.
He noted that the state government had made regular payment of the doctors’ salaries a priority, in addition to improving the working facilities in the hospitals.
“Doctors were the first to enjoy the new salary scale before other sectors in the state and have been paid the CONSAS, while the government is also looking into the hazard allowance matter,” he said.
The NMA chairman said that the workload on the medical doctors working with the state government was massive due to lack of enough qualified hands.
He noted that there had been low response to the advertised employment of new doctors, attributing this to what he called poor take home of medical officers.
Ahmed called on government to urgently look into the improvement of salary and hazard allowance of the doctors in order to make the state attractive for qualified health professionals.