The Association of Resident Doctors of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital in Ondo State has threatened to down tools over unpaid salary.
The doctors also accused the state government of insincerity.
The doctors, who temporarily suspended their services, organised a mini-protest on the premises of the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Akure, on Friday against the non-payment of their entitlements.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as “Our salary is our right, not a gift”, “We work on (an) empty stomach not knowing when next will come,” “We are asking for what we have worked for”, “A hungry doctor Is a danger to society”.
The Chairman of the Media Committee of the association, Dr Taiwo Olagbe, said they had not received salary since January.
He said, “Our members are being evicted from their houses as they are long overdue on their rent renewals. Some of us have to walk long distances to the hospital as they can no longer afford to fuel their cars or board motorcycles among other demeaning and dehumanising experiences.
“In order to avert a repeat of what happened in January, we have had wide consultations in form of letters and meetings to and with both our management and government representatives to hear our peculiar situation and do the needful but all to no avail.
“As determined, committed and resolute as we have been in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as frontline health care workers in the state in accordance with the state government’s plan of not only cutting the chain of transmission but ensuring that everyone in the state has access to quality health care, we will unfortunately not be able to continue to provide this much needed, cherished and patriotic service beyond May 15 for the obvious reason that we would have totally run out of every means to continue to do so.”
The protesters resolved that before they could return to work the state government must ensure full payment of their salary arrears, including “our January salary shortfall”.
However, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, assured the doctors that they would be paid.
Adegbenro said, “Efforts are on towards ensuring that the doctors receive their salaries anytime that the civil servants in the state get theirs.”