Doctors in Osun state on Thursday took to the streets to protest decadence in the state health sector and non payment of 22 months salaries arrears.
Marching through the streets of osogbo, the Osun state capital, The doctors under the umbrella of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA complained of other welfare issues including payment of mutilated salaries to as low as a quarter of their salaries and non- implementation of the extant circulars on the revised consolidated medical salary scale( Revised CONMESS) by the state government.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, the chairman of the NMA in Osun state, Dr. Tokunbo Olajumoke said doctors in the state are currently being subjected to degrading service conditions coupled with obnoxious tax regime which he claimed has made doctors in the state poorer than their colleagues in other parts of the country.
He said the protest was to call the attention of relevant stakeholders in the state to the rot in the health sector which he said has claimed innocent lives including that of well-meaning sons and daughters of the state.
“Doctors in the state of Osun are all out today for two reasons , first we are doing what we call walk for survival in order to exercise our system but that is not the primary reason, the primary reason is that we want to attract the attention of the populace of Osun state with regards to the plight of doctors in this state, we have been working under a terrible harsh condition in this state since the inception of this government”.
“Presently we are being owed 22 months salaries, some full salary, some fraction of our salary. Secondly I have mentioned the issue of Tax, we are being heavily taxed in Osun state, it’s as if I am collecting forty percent of my salary and you are now taxing that forty percent on 100 percent tax, You divide my salary and now put full tax on that half and you pay me the fragment that remains. This is unacceptable. “He said
“We have revised standard CONMESS as a new salary scale for doctors in Nigeria, it has been in existence since 2014 and people have been using this salary scale for doctors about 3 to 4 years ago. Here the government has refused to pay us, We even said even if you are not paying the arrears let us start now, if government implements it now, we can consider negotiating on the arrears but government is insisting on not paying it. We even invited our National president to meet with the governor of Osun, I can tell you that the government actually made a mess of the meeting, we were just there for fun.He even said the doors are open and if we cannot collect what he is paying, we should go and seek for employment elsewhere. “.
“This is a slap on the medical workers in Osun state and that is why we are pleading with the populace to impress on government to accede to our requests.Somebody died in Ede, a senator ,i can tell you he died because there was no facility in the hospital in Ede .There is a primary healthcare centre in Ede, if they had taken him to that place, he probably would have survived but there is no personnel there, no equipment there too to even keep him alive and nobody knows who is going to be the next person there. This is why we are talking to the populace, they are the ones at the receiving end, they must talk to the government to accede to our demands so they can continue to enjoy the health care they used to enjoy in Osun state “he stated.
When contacted on government’s side to react to the allegations, the chief of staff to the governor, Gboyega Oyetola did not answer to the calls made to his phone while the spokesperson of the governor ,Semiu Okanlawon said he was
out of town .