Uduaghan Continues To Stall As Kogi Agrees To Pay Doctors CONMESS/CONHESS

Source: OUR REPORTER. - thewillnigeria.com

ASABA, Sept 02, (THEWILL) – As the industrial action embarked upon by medical doctors and workers of the state Health Management Board (HMB) in Delta State continues to deprive Deltans of quality medical care because of the state government’s refusal to pay salaries based on the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), THEWILL has gathered that Kogi State government yesterday, September 01, 2010, signed an agreement with its striking health workers to fully implement the new salary structure (CONMESS/CONHESS), three days after its health workers went on strike.

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris according to government sources in the state agreed to pay its health workers because he wanted to save lives that may have been lost had the government allowed the strike stretch further than three days.

Sadly for Delta State, the picture is completely different. THEWILL gathered that Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has continued to stall on his initial promise to pay the state’s health workers based on (CONMESS) even though the state is by a wide margin richer than Kogi State.

At the last meeting between doctors and representatives of the Delta State Government on August 23, 2010, at the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Uduaghan proposed to pay 60% of the 56.7% that the federal government added on CONTISS, from whence CONMESS was introduced. The striking health workers however refused the governor’s offer and since then no negotiation or deal has been reached.

THEWILL checks has however revealed that Governor Uduaghan has worsened the situation as he has ordered that salaries of health workers in the state be stopped with immediate effect until the workers get back to work. Following his order, all state health workers have had their August salaries withheld by the government.

The striking health workers have vowed not to resume work until the state government agrees to pay salaries based on the new salary scale, according to one of the striking doctors who opted not to be named.

So far, the strike has crippled health care services in state operated hospitals and clinics, leaving sick patients without basic health care to either die or seek help elsewhere.

Since the strike began more than four weeks ago, there have been reports of deaths that could have prevented in the state.

Attempts to reach the governor or the state Information Commissioner, Mr. Oma Djebah for comments were unsuccessful as at press time.