Medical Doctors and other related health personnel recruited by Kwara state government under the aegis of Members of the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP), Kwara branch on Monday commenced seven days warning strike across the 16 local government areas of the state over a disagreement with government on their demands.

The warning strike took off despite the pleas and 70% offer made by the state government to stop the strike.

Dr Saka Agboola, Chairman of the association who asked his teaming members to commence the warning strike explained that the association had been patient, and gave series of ultimatum to the state government concerning their agitation on members welfare.

According to him, “The strike action emanated from the failed implementation of agreement by the government after several engagements on the demands surrounding better working conditions of doctors working with the state government.

“More recruitment of doctors into the service to strengthen and support the already overwhelmed ones in the state.

“Provision of adequate security for health workers to prevent recurrent assault of health workers especially doctors while discharging their legitimate duties.

“Better and improved remuneration for doctors in the state to prevent the recurrent exodus of doctors to the federal health institutions and even neighbouring states.”

He observed that as much as it is painful for the executives to reach such decision, the congress has however unanimously agreed on a seven days warning strike action.

Reacting to the development, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Abubakar O. Ayinla, expressed disappointment of the state government over the commencement of the strike despite the efforts of the government to make them see reason.

He said, “We are dismayed by the decision of the doctors to hold a warning strike despite the unprecedented commitments of the government to their welfare.

“While it is the right of labour unions to press for the right and welfare of their members, it is important to state that this administration has done so well for the health sector and it is prepared to do a lot more within available resources.

“It is important to observe also that the government has met all their demands while salary adjustment was put at 70%. This was done in good faith and in recognition of the primacy of the health of our people.

” Notwithstanding the strike, Government remains committed to the agreements already reached in the unprecedented marathon meeting personally chaired by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for much of Sunday, October 31, 2021.
 
“However, we appeal to the doctors to look at the bigger picture and the financial standing of Kwara State, which is at the bottom of federal revenue allocation table.

“It is also important to reflect on where we are coming from and the progress so far made in not just the health sector but in other areas. Every segment of the state workforce is important, and government is equally working to improve the welfare of the entire public labour community in line with the ethos of the administration.
 
“We urge our medical doctors to consider immediate suspension of the action while government implements the 70% proposal that its finances can struggle with at this time.

“Suspension of the action will reaffirm the time-honoured belief of health workers in the sanctity of human life and stability of the public health system”.