The Centre for Society Health Advocacy (CSHA) has faulted the decision of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, (Ogun State chapter) to go ahead with its decision to embark on strike over its disagreement with the State government.
It said the reasons adduced for the strike are rather unfortunate and too weak to justify industrial action at a critical time of global Covid-19 pandemic.
CSHA said going by the various efforts of Governor Dapo Abiodun to address the issues of welfare for health workers, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, nothing other than partisan political motivation could explain ARD’s latest action.
In a statement by its Secretary-General, Dr. Godwin Ekpenobi, in Abuja, CSHA urged ARD to rescind its decision and return to work, adding that it is high time those with the sacred calling of caring for human life shunned the temptation of sacrificing professionalism on the altar of petty politics.
“Nothing justifies the rigidity of ARD at this critical point of the pandemic. If the government had met the latest demands without thinking of other health workers, it would have created a vicious circle: consultants would come up with their own demands, nurses would follow suit; pharmacists would make their own demands, as would general practitioners, even though the revenue profile of the country as a whole has nosedived, and what the state government is getting from the federal purse has reduced drastically,” Ekpenobi said.
He noted that the Ogun State government had not sacked any worker and had even be paying salaries as at when due, even in the wake of dwindling revenue.
“Governor Abiodun has been paying workers their full entitlements. His administration has spent so much without getting more support from the Federal Government than it got originally. In realization of the important role played by health care workers, the government approved a robust insurance package. The strike announced by ARD is needless. The Ogun State government has shown leadership; the gesture ought to be reciprocated with commitment,” the statement added.