Seventy-nine medical doctors employed by the Kogi State government have resigned their appointments.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kogi State chapter, Dr. Kabiru Zubair said they resigned in reaction to irregular payment of salaries.
Zubair noted that doctors, who were at the forefront of the struggle for better welfare for health workers, had lost the zeal to fight due to the nonchalant attitude of the government. He said the only available option left was to leave the state civil service.
He said: “As at today, a total of 79 doctors have left Kogi civil service.
“In the last nine months alone, 27 doctors have resigned from the Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH), Lokoja, including two consultants.
“Forty four have resigned from the state’s Hospitals Management Board (HMB) and eight from the Kogi State University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba.
“More doctors are just waiting for the next available opportunity to leave. The consequences are worsening healthcare indices in the state.
“The vacuum created will ultimately be filled by medical quacks to the detriment of our people and no level of policing can stop it.”
He said the Kogi NMA had threatened and embarked on several industrial actions in the last one year.
“Even though NMA has dropped the idea of plunging the Kogi health sector into another round of industrial action, NMA is not happy that the government has not reciprocated the gesture by ensuring the regular payment of the salaries of doctors and other healthcare workers in the state.
“We call on the state government to prioritise the payment of doctors and other healthcare workers to abate the current low morale and untold hardship in the health work force,” Zubair said.
He also said the Kogi NMA would not hesitate to ask her members and their stakeholders in 2019 general election to withdraw their support and campaign against any government or individuals that refused to genuinely prioritise healthcare delivery.
He, therefore, urged the government to implement the Universal Healthcare Coverage and ensure the regular payment of the salaries of doctors and other healthcare workers.