From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Akwa Ibom State chapter has shelved its proposed strike action which the doctors had planned to back up their demand for the payment of a new salary structure.
This followed government’s swift intervention in order to check the ugly consequences usually experienced in health institution and hospitals whenever this segment of the society go on strike.
Commissioner for Health Dr. Dominic Ukpong, in a meeting with the leadership of the association said government has implemented the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (ONMESS) and the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS).
The commissioner thanked the association for accepting to dialogue with government, saying “this was a better alternative and approach than war.”
He called on them to think about the impact the shelving of their duties could have on the state while also assuring them that the issue of non-payment of salaries to House Officers would be cleared as government was working on sorting out issues concerning bank verification number (BVN).
Ukpong appealed to the doctors to talk to their conscience as both government and doctors would lose in the event of any strike.
In his response,state chairman of NMA, Dr. Augustine Udoh, described the announcement by the commissioner on the implementation of the salary structures by the government as gladdening to them, and called on the commissioner to relate to the state governor that doctors were happy.
He however noted that the planned strike by doctors did not imply aggression but only showed that there were issues to be sorted out.
Lauding the implementation of the new salary structure, the association assured government that doctors in the state would do everything possible to ensure that government policies in the health sector receive necessary support.
He also called on government to regularly look into the welfare of doctors to enhance productivity.