Lokoja — Over 100 doctors from Kogi State have besieged Zamfara, Niger and Yobe States, including Saudi Arabia for employment as a result of the ongoing industrial strike embarked upon by the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).
The state Chairman of the association, Dr. Godwin Tijani, made this known wednesday to journalists while speaking on the ongoing strike embarked upon by the association.
He hinted that many people have died in the last 30 days as a result of the ongoing doctors' strike in the state, stressing that many doctors from the state attended the Zamfara, Yobe and Niger States interviews seeking employment.
"We cannot afford to lose more of our doctors to the higher bidders," he said.
Tijani noted that the strike was 30-day-old on February 7, and the state government was yet to meet their demands.
"Many people are suffering to access healthcare services in the state and many have also died of preventable diseases.
"This is not good for our healthcare sector; we have fewer doctors and many of them are leaving for other states with better pay. Also, many doctors have got job and have left the state.
"Many of our doctors attended the recent interviews conducted by Zamfara, Niger and Yobe State governments, while others just came back from Abuja where they attended interview conducted by Saudi Arabia.
"Those who attended Zamfara State interview were about 30 doctors while Yobe State had more than 20. We cannot afford to lose more of our doctors to the higher bidders.
"We are appealing to the state government to do the needful to prevent further brain drain that has already started in the Kogi State health sector. The time to act is now," Tijani said.
He urged the state government to do the needful by meeting their demands to avoid brain drain.
According to him, the demands of the association are: "The inability of the state government to pay the doctors' full salaries by paying 60 per cent of September to December 2017 salaries; some doctors were even yet to be paid.
"The doctors want government to give a definite time line for the full implementation of adjusted CONMESS (new salary structure) for doctors in the state civil service and the accrued arrears since January 2014. The doctors' associations and union dues as well as members' cooperative society contributions were not remitted in full whereas 100 per cent taxes were deducted from their salaries, among others.