Kwara doctors extend strike ultimatum

Resident doctors

Resident doctors during protest

By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal

The Kwara chapter of the Nigeria Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGMDP), on Monday, extended the ultimatum on its impending strike, till 1 November.

Its chairman, Dr Saka Agboola, announced the extension in Ilorin at the end of an emergency congress of the chapter.

Agboola stated that the initial Sept. 13 deadline was extended because of promising gestures by the state government.

“Earlier, there was a 21-day ultimatum given. The ultimatum expired on Monday and a congress was held.

“Arising from the congress, we decided to extend the ultimatum by eight weeks to end on Nov. 1.

“Our decision to extend the ultimatum by eight weeks is borne out of empathy for the general public.

“We do not want to cause more harm to our people. Also, the government has shown commitment and serious concern to some of our demands; that is why we decided not to put too much burden on our people.

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“We have reconsidered our decision and we are hopeful through the ongoing negotiations that good things are coming out,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Agboola added that the chapter appreciated the government for what it had been doing in the health sector, including the recruitment and prompt promotion of health workers and the renovation of infrastructure.

He stressed that notwithstanding the strides, doctors, the driving force in the health sector, had numerous challenges.

However, he lamented the frequent brain drain in the state’s health sector, adding that doctors needed the motivation to make infrastructure provided by the government function optimally.

“We know that this government does not make promises without fulfilling them and we also want to believe that our case will not be different,’’ he said.

Earlier, Agboola stated that by Nov. 1, another congress would be held to deliberate on the way forward.

He argued that with better remuneration, doctors would be motivated and ready to stay in the state and discharge their assignments effectively.

NAN