Patients desert Zamfara hospitals as doctors begin indefinite strike

Maiharaji Altine, Gusau

Patients have deserted hospitals in Zamfara State following an indefinite strike embarked upon by medical doctors.

The doctors embarked on the strike over the non-implementation of their new hazard and call duty allowances by the state government.

The doctors, under the auspices of National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, Zamfara State chapter, had written to the state government, giving a 21-day ultimatum to implement the allowances or face strike action.

In the letter signed by the association’s chairman, Dr. Sanusi Bello; and the secretary; Dr. Murtala Mohammed, which was addressed to the Executive Chairman, Health Services Management Board, the doctors said they would not suspend the strike until their demands were met.

The leader reads partly, “Pursuant to the letter submitted to your office on the 25/11/2020, which was met with an appeal for a 21-day extension of an ultimatum and failure to resolve the issue particularly bothering on the establishment circular 2011 (EST/ZMS/SUB/531/26) which has not reflected in the November salaries print out.

“The Association wishes to notify you of its withdrawal of service by its members from all general hospitals across the state indefinitely from 12 am of November 30, 2020.”

However, the Chairman, Health Services Management Board, Alhaji Mustapha Anka, said the government would soon implement the new hazard and call duty allowances as demanded by the medical doctors.

But a visit to some hospitals in the state by our correspondent showed that health services were at standstill, while many patients had discharged themselves from hospitals as there were no doctor to attend to them.

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