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Ondo health workers denounce unpaid wages

Health workers under the Ondo State government have lamented the non-payment of four months of salary arrears.

The State Section of the Nigerian Medical Association and the National Association of Nurses and Midwives of Nigeria, in separate interviews with our correspondent, confirmed receiving the January 2022 salary just two weeks ago.

State NMA Chairman Dr Stella Adegbehingbe said doctors in the state were working despite not being paid for February, March, April and May.

Dr Adegbehingbe said many doctors working in state health facilities had either traveled overseas to seek greener pastures or went to federal hospitals for better and quick pay.

“We work even if we are not paid; we participated in it and that is what is happening in Ondo state, people are working and not getting paid.

“It led to some people moving from government hospitals to federal government hospitals in Lagos and some people travelling,” Adegbehingbe said.

Also speaking, NANNM Secretary of State, Mr. Aina Oluwasegun, confirmed that the nurses only received their January salary just two weeks ago.

“Nurses are just struggling to survive; because the salary of a civil servant not to be paid is not an easy thing, you know that his financial obligations will not be met.

“If you look at the number of nurses in the state before they started owing pay, it’s gone down dramatically because pretty much everyone is having a hard time getting jobs elsewhere, a lot of people have moved to other countries to seek greener pastures, even those who hadn’t anticipated this before, the unpaid wages drove everyone to go.

“If the situation does not improve, the number of nurses in the state will drop again drastically. Some people never consider leaving the country, but the unpaid salary has forced them to travel.

Mr. Oluwasegun urged the state government to prioritize the health sector.

“We did our best to get the government to help us with the payment of salaries. We made efforts to get the government to prioritize the health sector given the efforts of nurses during the pandemic when all other workers were at home, but there was no priority,” a- he declared.

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