The Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Ekiti chapter, Dr. John Akinbote, who justified the strike action, lamented that those sacrificing for robust health care delivery in the country were being abandoned.
He said, “People should come out and speak for the doctors. Our strike action is to press home our demand for the payment of four months salaries being owed our members.
“We are all aware of the fuel scarcity and our children are in schools, we have to pay their school fees and also attend to other bills. People will live better if appropriate things are done.
“Morbidity and mortality have increased as a result of poor health condition of our people. The unpaid salaries are exacerbating the medical conditions of Nigerians and the government must do the needful.
“If we refuse to go on strike, the government will just sleep over this matter. The fight is not about doctors alone, but for all workers. How do people get money to go to work when salaries are not paid? We are talking to ARD on how the salaries can be paid, so that they can return to work.”
Akinbote appealed to the state government to find “a balanced ground” to resolve the issue. He said doctors expected the government to do the needful so that the strike would not be prolonged “unnecessarily.”
Our correspondent gathered that relatives of patients in Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, had been requesting for referrals to Federal Government and private hospitals in the state.
A top member of the hospital’s management team, who reacted to the strike on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, said, “We are speaking to the striking doctors but it seems as if they are recalcitrant. They need to show understanding.
“We are optimistic that the meeting of Monday, April 18 will yield good result. Hopefully, by Monday or Tuesday, they should suspend the strike and return to work.”