The Yobe State government has called on the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) to embrace dialogue and interface with the Ministry of Health relating to their service and welfare, not to resort to threats.
A statement on the matter by the state commissioner of Health, Dr Muhammad Bello Kawuwa yesterday, came barely 48 hours after the ARD issued a 21 days ultimatum to press home their demand.
“It has come to the notice of the Yobe State Ministry of Health and Human Services that the ARD Yobe State Branch has issued a press statement in which they raised such issues as ‘skipping’, ‘relativity’, ‘promotion of medical officers’, ‘residency training’ and ‘NYSC Doctors’ allowance’, amongst others, and threatened that the state government must address these issues within 21 days or face industrial action,” Kawuwa said in the statement.
He expressed surprise by the doctors’ stand, saying the stance seems to display complete ignorance of, or lack of regard for, government operations and current developments in the state.
“The most contentious issues in the ARD stance are salary and relativity, which have already been laid to rest by Governor Ibrahim Gaidam’s approval of the full implementation of COMMESS and CONHESS Salary Structures on May 14, 2018.
“The issue of promotions in the civil service is, and has always been, an issue that follows standard guidelines where all eligible civil servants, who have met the requirements (and where vacancies are available) get their promotions in the state civil service.
“As for the issues of Residency Training, approval has already been granted by the government for local and overseas residency.
“Any elements that are being used to sabotage the effort of the state government in making healthcare available and affordable to the people will not succeed.
“We therefore call on the leadership and members of the Association of Resident Doctors to embrace dialogue and interface with the Ministry of Health and it’s agencies on matters relating to service and welfare and not resort to threats, as we will not be cajoled, intimidated or pushed into derailing from our vision of ensuring an efficient and effective healthcare system in Yobe State” the commissioner said.