Dickson Moves to Avert Bayelsa Doctors’ Strike as Ultimatum Expires

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By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Seriake Dickson, on Tuesday met with medical doctors in the state after the 21-day ultimatum issued by the Nigerian Medical Association expired.

Though details of what transpired at the meeting were not disclosed to journalists, it was learnt that the governor made the medical practitioners an offer which they promised to take to their members.

The doctors had vowed to embark on a ‘total and indefinite’ strike to protest the government’s inability to pay their salaries for about five months.

The NMA argued that the non-payment of salaries, even to other workers had resulted in reduced hospital attendance and inability of patients to buy drugs, arguing that residents had resorted to patronising quacks.

‘’Despite the untold hardship occasioned by this development, our members have kept faith with our Hippocratic Oath, continued to render services and ensured that Bayelsa people get the needed healthcare.

‘’The continued non-payment of salaries has adversely affected healthcare delivery in the state. Hospital attendance has markedly reduced; patients can no longer procure drugs, pay for tests or pay their bills on discharge from the hospital”, NMA said.

It maintained that the consequences of not paying salaries were that Bayelsa people will resort to self-treatment, patronise quacks and in the worst case scenario opt to die at home.

A source privy to the meeting, told THISDAY that the governor pleaded with the doctors not to embark on the strike to avert compounding the suffering of the masses.

Further Details Later