Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, yesterday decried the non-payment of five months salaries in the state, noting that the continuous delay in payment of salaries and wages had adversely affected healthcare delivery among others.
According to NMA, the non-payment of salaries in the oil rich state has among other things reduced hospital attendants as patents can no longer procure drugs, pay for test or pay their bills on their discharge from hospitals.
The consequences, they said, are that Bayelsans had resorted to self treatment, patronising quacks and in the worst case scenario opt to die at home.
It further stated that the non-payment of salaries was a ready template for anti-social upheaval, psychiatric manifestation, especially depression/suicide, selfp-denial, self-pity, escalating vices such as theft and violence.
The body therefore warned that it was set to join its affiliate bodies come June 27 in an indefinite strike action if government failed to resolve the lingering crisis in the Bayelsa State civil service before the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum given to government.
The affiliate bodies of NMA, which include the National Association of Government Medical and Dental Practitioners, NAGGMDP, Bayelsa State chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARO, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, NDUTH, Okolobiri, and the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government over unpaid salaries.
At a press briefing at the NMA headquarters in Yenagoa addressed by the state chairman of the association, Isreal Jeremiah, the doctors body slammed the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, for not inviting it to the negotiations between organised labour and the state government last month.
The association dissociated itself from the agreement reached between organised labour and the state government, insisting that their salaries must be paid in full as they were not prepared to take 50 percent as agreed by government and organised labour.
Jeremiah said, “We disassociate ourselves completely from the purported agreement between NLC/TUC and the state government where a payment of 50 percent of monthly salaries among other agreements was said to have been reached. We insist on the payment of our salaries in full (100 percent).
“If the issues raised are not resolved at the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum on the 27th of June, 2016, the above stated affiliates will embark on a total indefinite strike action.
“Furthermore, if the issues raised are not quickly resolved after the commencement of the strike action, the entire NMA, including doctors at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, and private hospitals in Bayelsa State will be constrained to join in the total withdrawal of services.”
Calling on relevant stakeholders to rescue Bayelsans, the body wondered why the state was going through this hard times, saying “the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘how did we get here? How did the inhabitants of this land flowing with milk and honey go hungry? We need answers.’”

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