Gombe doctors embark on indefinite strike

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Our Reporter

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) in Gombe State has embarked on an indefinite strike over working conditions.

The President, Dr. Saidu Alhassan, speaking at a briefing in Gombe, said that the doctors proceeded on strike after 11 weeks of inconclusive negotiations with the government.

He said members are facing challenges among which is the refusal of the government to upgrade house officers on internship.

Alhassan added: “It was also over failure to honour the Federal Government circular on skipping, leading to the current brain drain in which more than 30 doctors and two consultants have left the services of the government in the last six months.”

He accused the government of failing to “upgrade and promote our members, some of whom are still being paid house officers’ salary despite being medical officers.”

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He said some of the doctors have spent six years, while others have become consultants with no complementary allowances.

The ARD president said the strike will continue until the government responds to the doctors’ grievances.

Health Commissioner Dr. Ahmed Gana told reporters that the government was aware of the concerns of the association and was doing its best to address the issues.

He, however, said that the problems were inherited by the government, with some dating back to more than three years.

“Despite the financial constraints, the government has set in motion a machinery to address the demands in short and long terms,” the commissioner said.