By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
Ilorin – The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) chapter, on Monday urged the Federal Government to pay their allowances to avoid industrial action.
Dr Lanre Olosunde, the branch President of ARD, in statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin warned that the strike would commence on June 15, if their demand was not addressed
Olosunde said that health workers were poorly paid in spite the hazard encountered with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, incurring extra expenses and facing greater health risks.
According to him, the federal government wants to stall and if possible renege on agreement signed to pay hazard allowance to health workers.
“There is no better time for a government to prioritise health, workers and institutions.
”It is seven-days to a national indefinite strike by resident doctors. This strike is avertable if the government honours the agreement.
“The government should not be insensitive to doctors who have been in the front line especially in the on-going battle against COVID-19.
“Resident doctors constitute one of the major human power driving the healthcare of the nation,” the local ARD president said.
Olosunde said that many doctors have died in the line of duty after been exposed to dangerous diseases, urging government to do the needful.
“We have negotiated like gentlemen over and over again, but we have been left with no other option than to speak out loud and clear with a strike since the government has refused to do the needful,” he said.
Olosunde noted that the implications of being a health worker in the COVID-19 crisis was that while others stayed at home during the lock down, health workers went to work.