By Peter Okolie
Onitsha (Anambra) – Medical doctors in Anambra, under the aegis of Conference of Civil Service Doctors (NAGGDMP), have suspended their indefinite strike following the outbreak of COVID-19 in some parts of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the doctors had on March 1, embarked on strike over the state government’s alleged failure to implement a medical salary structure for all doctors in government service.
The group had also claimed that they were the least paid doctors in the country and had become a laughing stock among commity of doctors.
Addressing newsmen in Onitsha on Tuesday, the State Chairman of the conference, Dr Livinus Chukwuma, said the suspension was a mark of honour for the people of the state.
“Considering the current trend in the world, namely the COVID-19 and its presence in Nigeria, the civil service doctors in Anambra feel it is a mark of dishonour to the people of the state to remain on strike while they face looming danger.
“The scar of the eventual outcome would be indelible in the minds of the public and doctors.
“In line with the oath we swore to uphold the health of our citizens, the doctors have decided to suspend the strike,” Chukwuma said.
He said that the suspension of the strike would further enable the doctors to be combat-ready for a possible COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Describing the suspension of the strike as a “sacrifice”, Chukwuma expressed hope that the state government would utilise the opportunity to fine tune its actions towards a lasting solution to their plights.
The chairman therefore urged members of the conference to resume duty at their various stations not later than 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
NAN recalls that the doctors went on strike for more than 13 months in 2011 over the non-implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure approved by the Federal Government as the standard for all doctors in government service.
The strike was then suspended after interventions from eminent persons and a fresh agreement reached with the state government.
An agreement between the group and government stipulated periodical review of the salaries until 100 per cent was achieved, starting from 50 per cent.