Olaleye Idowu

Ondo state’s chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, have commenced a two-week warning strike at the Federal Medical Centre in Owo, Ondo State due to what they described as a shortage of personnel.

Shortly after the association’s general meeting in the Owo, headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of the state, the doctors announced their decision to down tools.

According to Dr Olaopa Olutobi Gideon, President of the ARD, FMC Owo branch, the strike action was unavoidable because doctors were working “under extremely stressful conditions.”

Only 80 resident doctors and health officers are currently employed by the hospital, according to Dr Olaopa, who also noted that there hasn’t been any new hiring there since 2018.

He stated no fewer than 300 doctors and house officers used to work at the hospital, but many of them have since left.

“One person is now doing the job of five persons. We have been on this issue since last year. The situation keeps getting worst because a lot of people are leaving the system.

“There has not been any employment in the FMC Owo, since 2018. The employment of additional 200 doctors and health officers will solve the problem.

“They are also not paying for our extra work. We are doing duty calls every day.”

The doctors also complained about the low quality of the hospital meals and the absence of secure housing for their colleagues employed at the Akure hospital annex.

Olufunsho Ijanusi, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer confirmed the industrial action, saying that the hospital’s management had been keeping an eye on development.

Ijanusi stated that Dr. Liasu Adeagbo, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, had just arrived from Abuja and had met with the ARD leadership, pleading with them to be patient.

He clarified that several bureaucratic bottlenecks were delaying the hiring of extra staff members at the hospital but pledged that management would soon find a solution.

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