Amidst cholera outbreak in the state, Ogun doctors threaten industrial action
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Amidst cholera outbreak in the state, Ogun doctors threaten industrial action

June 20, 2024

Amidst cholera outbreak in the state, Ogun doctors threaten industrial action

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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Amidst the outbreak of dreaded cholera in Ogun State, the State Nigerian Medical Association has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government, threatening industrial action due to poor working conditions.

According to the Associarion, unless the state government takes immediate action to address their concerns, members would embark on industrial action.

Speaking during a press conference, Thursday, tthe State Chairman, Dr. Azim Kunle Ashimi, revealed that the ultimatum was given on June 7, 2024, and will expire on June 27, 2024.

Dr. Ashimi highlighted that despite ongoing discussions with relevant government officials, there have been only verbal assurances without any official commitment.

He urged the citizens of Ogun State to pressure the government into taking necessary steps to prevent the looming strike, which could disrupt healthcare services across the state.

“The State Executive Council of NMA Ogun issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government on June 7, 2024, which will elapse on June 27, 2024, indicating that industrial harmony may not be guaranteed after this date as the pressure of work on the few doctors holding forth is yielding dire consequences.

“Conversations have been ongoing in this respect with relevant government officers, with verbal assurances but no official commitment from the government yet. We use this opportunity to call on well-meaning citizens of Ogun State to impress upon the Ogun State government to do the needful in order to avert any industrial action."

Dr. Ashimi noted that hospitals like Babcock University Teaching Hospital have seen their monthly electricity bills surge from between ₦80-100 million to ₦300 million.

He called for concessions to be given to health institutions to prevent these increased costs from being passed onto patients, potentially making healthcare inaccessible for many.

“Over the last few weeks, we have been inundated with SOS messages from health institutions across the state concerning the enormous increase in operating costs of hospitals occasioned by the recent increase in electricity tariffs.

“For example, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, a mission tertiary health institution, informed us that their electricity bills jumped from between ₦80-100 million monthly to ₦300 million in the last month.

"While we appreciate the zeal of the government to develop the energy sector, we appeal strongly that concessions be given to health institutions, as these humongous tariffs will eventually be passed on to our poor patients, thereby driving them further away from access to appropriate healthcare services.”

He also spoke on the "Japa Syndrome," referring to the mass exodus of healthcare workers from Nigeria, describing it as as a significant challenge.

He said the trend has severely impacted the healthcare system in Ogun State, leading to a shortage of doctors and increasing the workload on those remaining.

Dr. Ashimi warned that unless the government addresses the disparity in salaries between state and federal health institutions, this trend could lead to the collapse of the healthcare system in the state.

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