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Doctors barricade Abia govt house over salary

Doctors barricade Abia govt house over salary
Photo by Patmosko12- Ask Nigeria

The health workers are protesting their unpaid 24-month salary arrears.

On January 12, 2023, medical doctors in Abia State barricaded the entrance gate to Abia Government House, Umuahia, to protest 24-month salary arrears owed to medical and non-medical staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH). The doctors who came out were also protesting 13-months in arrears owed to doctors and other members of staff of Health Management Board. Doctors from different parts of the state converged at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, before proceeding to the Government House Gate while chanting solidarity songs as they marched on the road.

The personnel also carried placards with different inscriptions, such as “Doctors’ lives matter,” “Our salary is our entitlement,” “2 years without salary ‘no be jokes’,” “Man’s inhumanity to man,” among other inscriptions. The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia State Chapter, Dr. Isaiah Abali, ventilated the grievances of the protesting doctors at the entrance gate of the Government House. He said doctors whom the State Government had employed were passing through misery following multitude of months of unpaid wages.

Daily needs are not being met by doctors in the state.

Dr. Abali condemned the government’s actions as it affected the condition of the affected doctors. He said many of them can no longer meet their daily needs. He also expressed sadness over the State Government’s inability to clear the backlog of salary arrears of doctors. He said that the protest had no political undertones whatsoever and asked the government to stop giving excuses but clear the outstanding arrears.

The Secretary of NMA, Dr. Daniel Ekeleme, narrated the bitter experiences of some doctors in the hands of their landlords because they were unable to renew their house rents. He said that landlords no longer accept to lease their houses to Abia doctors because they could not pay the rent anymore. He added that some of the doctors can no longer pay their children’s school fees and feeding has become a big challenge because Abia State Government has refused to pay their salary.

Public office holders are paid with jumbo allowances but doctors are owed.

He said that Abia State doctors are the least paid in the country and noted that Abia is the only state where doctors are owed for years. “We have begged. We have made appeals, but they fell on deaf ears. Now we are here so the world can hear us,” he said. Dr. Ekeleme said that doctors are dying in Abia because of unpaid salaries. He said next time they have a protest like this, the doctors will come with the bodies of some of their members who have died as a result of hardship.

A Consultant Hematologist at ABSUTH, Dr. Chika Uche, lends her voice to the issue. She said that it was wickedness for the Government which “receives allocation every month” to pay political office holders with jumbo allowances but owe workers who earn peanuts. She noted that some of the staff members of the affected institutions include cleaners and other non-medical staff with meagre pay. She described the adamancy of the Government to the plight of doctors as cruelty and the height of insensitivity.

NMA had threatened to cripple the entire health sector of the state.

Meanwhile, no government official came to receive or address the protesting doctors. They later dispersed after narrating their ordeals to newsmen and some passersby. However, a detachment of armed police personnel was present to maintain peace and order. Towards the end of last year, the NMA had threatened to cripple the entire health sector of the state until the State Government cleared the salary arrears. The medical association also declared indefinite strike in both public and private hospitals in the state, but the State Government is yet to meet their demands despite the threats.


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Admin
1
13 days ago

Doctors barricade Abia govt house over salaryThe health workers are protesting their unpaid 24-month salary arrears. – Express your point of view.

Member
8
13 days ago

This is really distasteful. A significant number of these health workers have left the country to where their service is more appreciate. Do we have to wait till when they are all gone?

Abusi
Member
8
13 days ago

So disgraceful from the Abia government. I don’t understand why the government can’t cut it’s expenses and ensure salaries are paid to it’s workers. How did they expect the doctors to take care of their families when they are not being paid.

Member
9
13 days ago

Why are the so called government dehumanizing our health workers imagine doctors barricading the government house in Abia state because they have not been paid salary which is a bad thing in this present era.

Member
8
13 days ago

It doesn’t have to always get to this point before the needful gets done. This is really sad. Now the medical association has declared strike. We need to do better

Member
9
13 days ago

It is very unfortunate and shameful in Nigeria all aspects of governing is nothing to write about.How can a state government refuse to pay his staff for work they do and they have huge amount of money to travel allover the world with private jet?.They suppose to troll all of them into jail.

Member
8
13 days ago

So disappointing, how did they(gov’t) expect the doctors to take care of their self and families, when they are not being paid? It’s no longer a surprise that our health workers have left the country to where their service is more appreciate. I pray for a better gov’t and governance in this country.

Member
9
13 days ago

The health workers are protesting their unpaid 24-month salary arrears. Very painful to hear. Absolutely nonsense, government without human feelings. Government are earning so much money,, in millions yet they can not pay their health workers. Failed government

Member
8
13 days ago

It’s terrible that Nigeria’s governance is so bad. How can a state government not pay its workforce, then what is the essence of them obtaining that post?

Member
8
13 days ago

Abia government’s shameful. I don’t see why the government can’t decrease costs and pay its employees.

Member
8
13 days ago

A large group of doctors from all around the state met at the Federal Medical Center in Umuahia, then marched to the Government House Gate while singing songs of support.

Member
8
13 days ago

The acts of the government should be criticized because of their impact on the working conditions of the impacted physicians.

Member
8
13 days ago

After a significant number of months of having their wages withheld, the State Government’s employed medical professionals were living in abject poverty.

Member
8
13 days ago

The demonstration had no political overtones at all, and its main demand was that the government cease making excuses and start paying back the money it owes instead.

Member
8
13 days ago

The state’s medical organization has also declared an indefinite strike, which will affect both public and private hospitals in the state. Despite the threats, the state government has not yet complied with the medical association’s requests, however.

Member
8
13 days ago

Why the government is unable to reduce its costs while also guaranteeing that its employees will receive their pay is a mystery to me.

Member
8
13 days ago

It is to everyone’s advantage that the NMA threatened to shut down the entire health care system in the state unless the state government paid all of the back salaries owed.

Member
8
13 days ago

Not everything has to reach this point before something is done that is necessary. An official strike by the medical community has been announced. We have to step up our game.

Member
8
13 days ago

Workers are working and not getting pay is unfair the government should pay their salary the arrear salary is too much which is was owned by the government

Member
8
12 days ago

There are some set of people that the government of Nigeria should not owe salaries. That is the health care sector. 24 months salary arrears, that is huge.

Member
8
12 days ago

The Abi state of has performed poorly. Why should the state be owning the healthcare workers salary for 24 months arrears. The governor should take necessary steps to resolve the issues.

Member
8
12 days ago

Fortunately, things can be resolved without falling to this level of drama. This is very tragic. The medical community has gone on strike. The standard of our work needs to rise.

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