By James Sowole
Healthcare delivery in government owned facilities in Ondo State deteriorated further yesterday as health the workers under the umbrella of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Ondo State Chapter, began an indefinite strike.
The striking workers include medical laboratory scientists, Optometrists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, health information managers/officers, dieticians and radiographers.
Medical doctors in the services of the state government have been on strike for weeks over the contentious payment of “percentage salaries” to workers by the state government.
However, nurses in the services of the state government under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), just called off their warning strikes over the same reason, but might embark on full strike to press home their demands any moment from now.
The NUAHP directed its members to withdraw their services from all state owned health care facilities and hospitals indefinitely.
The union had informed the government on the hardship being faced by its members due to the inability of the Ondo State government to pay salaries regularly and the eventual payment of 50 per cent as part payment of November salary. “The union, through a letter dated February 11, 2020, gave the government a 15-day ultimatum to settle among others the balance of 50 per cent of November salary.
“The union also called for the payment of arrears of backlogs of salaries (December 2020 and January 2020), not forgetting the previous year’s outstanding salaries,” the NUAHP said.
The union also demanded the payment of outstanding two months COVID-19 special allowances as agreed in May 2020.
The Chairman of the Union, Mr. Adedire Adeyinka, explained that health workers were faced with exposures to Lassa fever, COVID-19, etc. on a daily basis.
He added that it has become so difficult for their members to fortify their immune system against the ravaging pandemic and other epidemic diseases without prompt payment of salaries.
Adeyinka vowed that members of the union would no longer accept percentage salaries being paid by the state government.