The Yobe State government has blamed threats by resident doctors to go on strike on communication gap. It urged the doctors to embace dialogue to resolve contentiou issues. The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) in Yobe State on Wednesday called on the government to address problems affecting its members or face an industrial action after 21 days.
The association also called for:
. the promotion of doctors;
. an upward review of the residency program package;
. allowances due and owed be settled;
. that government should start housemanship and residency program in the hospitals;
. that youth corps doctors be paid what is due to them and promptly;
. employ more doctors in the state; and
. that government should equip the Accident and Emergency wards with necessary emergency drugs, including the theatre.
Commissioner of Health Dr. Bello Kawuwa, at a news conference yesterday, said most issues raised by the doctors have been addressed.
He said: “I think it is a case of communication gap. The doctors did not do the needful to lay their complaints and exhaust all opportunities before issuing the ultimatum.
“Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, on May 14, approved 100 per cent payment of CONMESS and CONHESS salary structure to doctors and medical workers.
“The reduction in salaries of some may not be unconnected with the initial hitches in the take-off of the implementation.”
Bello assured the doctors that the government will address their complaints and “give everyone what is due to him or her”.
The commissioner promised that none of the doctors will be victimised based on the threat, adding that “the doctors are our students and children. We will sit together and resolve the issue. But as I said, many of the issues raised have been addressed.
“The ministry is surprised by ARD’s stance, which seems to display complete ignorance of, or lack of regard for government operations and current developments in the state.
“The Ibrahim Gaidam-led government places so much premium on healthcare, recognising that health is a development issue. This is why the government continues to invest heavily in the sector to improve the health and well being of the people.
“Any element used to sabotage the governemnt’s effort will not succeed. The health sector works with sincerity of purpose, which is the guiding principle for how governor Gaidam operates.
“We call on the leadership and members of the ARD to embrace dialogue and interface with the Ministry of Health and its agencies on matters relating to service and welfare instead of resorting to threats.
“We will not be cajoled, intimidated or pushed into derailing from our vision of ensuring an efficient and effective healthcare system in Yobe State.”