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Yobe resident doctors threaten strike over allowance

Resident doctors in Yobe State have threatened to embark on strike over the state government’s failure to approve and implement certain allowances.  The threat followed…

Resident doctors in Yobe State have threatened to embark on strike over the state government’s failure to approve and implement certain allowances. 

The threat followed the federal government’s approval, through the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission, of new hazard allowances and revised CONMESS and accoutrement allowances for medical doctors. 

Doctors in Yobe State said while healthcare workers in other states and federal facilities have received the updated remuneration, including arrears, they remain unpaid. 

Several doctors from the Yobe State Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), speaking anonymously expressed their frustration, with some threatening to leave the association if no actionable measures are taken to address the issue. 

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One doctor from Specialist Hospital, Damaturu said, “We were told to be patient, but now many doctors can’t even afford fuel for their cars or transportation home after long shifts. This frustration and overburdening ultimately affect patient care.” 

Another resident doctor lamented the disparity in wages between state and federal hospitals, noting that junior doctors prefer federal hospitals due to a significant pay difference. 

The doctors’ call for payment of their entitlements and allowances came amidst public health challenges like meningitis and diphtheria outbreaks in Yobe State. 

The increasing patient admissions due to excessive heat this year further strain the healthcare system. 

A strike at this critical time would be dangerous, but the doctors feel it may be necessary to prompt government action. 

Dr. Umar Ahmad Aliyu, President of the Yobe State chapter of the ARD, confirmed the ongoing struggle for allowance implementation. 

“Governor Mai Mala Buni has strengthened the healthcare system, but the unresolved issue of hazard allowances and reviewed CONMESS is causing significant distress,” he said. 

Responding, Dr Muhammad Lawan Gana, the state’s Commissioner for Health and Human Services, said, “The government is in the process of addressing these needs, and all unions have been involved in the information collation. We are committed to the welfare of healthcare workers and are working towards meeting these commitments.”

 

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