Scores of medical doctors trooped out again in Osogbo, the state capital to protest the ‘mutilation’ of their salaries, salary arrears and poor condition of hospitals across Osun State.
The doctors were led by the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Osun State chapter, Dr. Tokunbo Olajumoke during the protest held on Thursday.
This protest came a month after a similar protest was held by the doctors over the same issues.
The doctors, who chanted anti- government songs marched from the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo to the popular Olaiya Junction to Oke Fia Roundabout described Governor Rauf Aregbesola as being insensitive to their suffering.
The NMA chairman, who later addressed journalists said salaries of doctors had been slashed drastically, saying they were now receiving a paltry 30 percent of their salaries while the state government was taxing them based on the 100 percent of the salaries.
He said that the doctors were not carried along when the governor decided to order that their salaries should be slashed.
He said, “Our protest is not only centred on our salaries but state hospitals lack equipment and drugs. The conditions of our hospitals are bad. There are no drugs, the most expensive drugs in many hospitals are paracetamol and other painkillers.
“We say no to obnoxious tax regime, we say no to amputated salaries and we want our hospitals to work in the interest of the people, who can not afford to seek treatment abroad.
“After today’s protest, we will review our strategies and we will come up with a more drastic action and that is why we are calling on major stakeholders in the state to talk to the governor. We cannot give half treatment to our patients because we are being paid amputated salaries.
“We have done everything humanly possible but the governor is recalcitrant. We also will not allow our rights to be trampled upon and keep silent.”
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, when contacted on the telephone appealed to the protesting doctors to show understanding with the government.
He said, “Our appeal to the doctors is that they should take the ethics of their profession seriously, they should consider the financial status of Nigeria which Osun State is part of.
” There should be synergy and understanding between the government and the doctors on the need to save lives. This administration was never found wanting in the area of workers’ welfare including the doctors who the economy was better than it is now.”
The commissioner said Aregbesola had done more than other previous leaders especially in the health sector but he pleaded with the doctors to show understanding with the state government.