Borno doctors threaten strike, give 21-day ultimatum

Borno State governor Kashim Shettima


Group urges reform in federal medical centres

The Association of Borno State Doctors (ABSB) has given a 21-day ultimatum to Governor Kashim Shettima to pay them their outstanding salary arrears. The ABSB Chairman, Dr. Bukar Abbagana, gave the deadline yesterday at a news conference in Maiduguri, the state capital.He said the doctors are being owed four years arrears of the revised Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).

He explained that when doctors across the country went on strike over the issue, those in the state did not join them.Abbagana disclosed that the ultimatum, which commenced from January 8, would end on February 5, 2018.His said: “Borno doctors out of loyalty to the state government and empathy for the people, had refused to down tools, with the belief that the governor would show same to our affected members.

“But four years down the line, there has been no single acknowledgement of the volume of correspondence with the state government. All avenues for dialogue were exhausted, but to no avail.”Abbagana appealed to members of the public to prevail on government to implement the salary structure to avert any industrial dispute.

Meanwhile, a civil society group, Seventh Force, has urged President Mohammadu Buhari to begin the reform of all Federal Medical Centres (FMC) across the country. A letter by the groups’ president, Mr. Folarin Odusote to Buhari, also called for the immediate sack of the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Makurdi, Dr. Peteru Inunduh.

He said Nigerians are more concerned about the parlous state of healthcare delivery in the country than security and economic issues. “From the latest survey conducted by the Seventh Force, we have found that the Federal Medical Centres across the country have become deathtraps to the people on account of how they are being run. 

“The conduct of the chief medical directors of some of the centres underscores the urgent need to reform them.” The group accused some medical directors of sabotaging the efforts of the president to deliver the democracy dividends to the people.The statement said: “Majority of these medical directors have demonstrated the highest level of incompetence and ineptitude in the administration of the centres.

“This has resulted in the facilities being closed to the public for extended period of time. The situation has also caused industrial actions by workers’ unions, shortage of consumables and other ills that are inimical to the healthcare needs of the people. The group accused the CMDs of most FMC of corruption, financial recklessness and abuse of public funds.It expressed worry that whistleblowers in these centres had been forced to remain silent to avoid being sacked.

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