Resident doctors at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, have begun an indefinite strike over alleged failure the Federal Government to meet their demands bothering on welfare.
The doctors said that their services would remain withdrawn until the demands, including their immediate enrolment in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, were met.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as some relevant government agencies had directed the payment of salary shortfall to resident doctors in the country before the end of October in a bid to avert the impending strike.
But the President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. John Onyebuze, had reportedly announced the commencement of the nationwide industrial action on Monday.
Onyebueze had also reportedly accused the federal and state governments of allegedly not showing commitment to address the issues raised.
The association had also demanded the payment of its members salary shortfalls in 2016 and January to May, 2017, inclusion in the national pension scheme and correction of the stagnation in the promotion of doctors and placing them on their appropriate grade level.
The President of the UBTH branch, Dr. Eustace Oseghale, told our correspondent that over 300 members of the association downed tools at 8am on Monday.
“Yes we have. It (strike) is a national directive. We are withdrawing services until our demands are met,” Oseghale said on the telephone.
He explained that though the action would take its toll on the patients, in spite of available consultants, a resolution of the issues would be in the interest of the patients.
“That is why we have been in touch with government for some time. Some of the demands even span over a year. In the long run, it will be better for the patients.
“We have consultants on ground providing some services. But their number is not enough to provide all the services. We urge them (patients) to bear with us,” Oseghale added.