NMA Gives Ondo State Governor 7-Day Ultimatum to Address Health Sector Challenges
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ondo State chapter, has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to address the pressing challenges facing the state’s health sector or face industrial disharmony. This ultimatum comes amidst demands for the implementation of the federal government’s approved hazard allowance for medical personnel in the state.
Dr. Omosehin Adeyemi-Osowe, the state NMA Chairman, emphasized the urgency of the situation during the association’s Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) held in Akure. He highlighted the deteriorating standards in the state’s health sector, citing concerns such as brain drain leading to critical units in teaching hospitals being understaffed.
Specifically, Adeyemi-Osowe noted deficiencies in units like Orthopaedics, Burns and Plastic, Ear, Nose and Throat, Mental Health, and Paediatric Surgery. He revealed that the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex in the state had seen a drastic reduction in resident doctors, with only 22 compared to the previous 150.
One of the major grievances raised by the NMA is the non-implementation of hazard allowance approved for doctors nationwide in December 2021. While the federal government and some states have implemented this allowance, Ondo State’s delay in payment has caused frustration among medical professionals.
Furthermore, the association expressed concerns about equipment shortages in critical units, including the non-functional CT scan and lack of ventilators in the ICU. Disparities in doctors’ salaries between Ondo State and neighboring states, particularly Ekiti State, were also highlighted as issues needing immediate attention.
Adeyemi-Osowe urged religious leaders, traditional rulers, and other stakeholders to intervene and push for a declaration of a state of emergency in the health sector. Despite the challenges, he commended medical professionals for their dedication to serving the people of Ondo State.
As the deadline approaches, all eyes are on Governor Aiyedatiwa to take decisive action and address the concerns raised by the NMA to ensure the well-being of citizens and healthcare workers in the state.