The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, South west Caucus, on Friday gave state governments owing its members backlog of salary arrears three weeks to pay up or face industrial action.
The resident doctors also decried the lackadaisical attitude of government at all levels to healthcare delivery in the country, describing the state of the sector as unfortunate.
Addressing a news conference at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, the Southwest caucus leader, Dr Sebastine Oiwoh, also decried the sad state of services in tertiary health institutions.
According to Oiwoh, the current state of public healthcare delivery in the country is ‘pitiable’.
He recalled that the issues had been lingering for over three years without any resolution in sight.
He said: “We therefore demand payment of the correct and not mutilated salary, within the next three weeks.
“The association would hold its Annual General Meeting where decisions on the issues would be extensively discussed; hence, we cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector if this persists beyond that time.”
The association also called for the immediate upgrade of infrastructure in teaching hospitals.
Oiwoh noted that the state of mind of doctors was pivotal to quality healthcare delivery and output; and that services being rendered by medical doctors were not only essential, but life-saving.
He said: “Therefore, it is unexpected that a governor and state government will neglect investment into the human and material resources that are in abundance in the health sector.
“We take special notice of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, where our colleagues are being owed huge amounts of salary arrears accumulated over a period of 14 months, among other emoluments.
“This situation has lingered since 2015 without a conclusive solution in spite of numerous constructive engagements of the governor and management of the hospital.
“Also worthy of note is the poor condition of services at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, same in Ogbomoso, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital and Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
“Including Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu where our members are being owed varying months of salary arrears coupled with poor condition of service.”
The association therefore, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to prevail on the affected state governors, especially Abia and the management of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, to ensure proper condition of service for doctors.
The association maintained that only the payment of their outstanding salaries would forestall an industrial action by resident doctors across the country.