Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED) Teaching Hospital Ondo, on Friday staged a peaceful protest over non-payment of five-month salaries

The doctors threatened to embark on indefinite strike action if their salaries are not paid within one week.

They said some arrears in 2019 were yet to be paid.

The resident doctors in January protested non- payment of six months salaries after which they embarked on an indefinite strike action.

Acting President of ARD, UNIMED branch, Dr. Shittu Abiola, said they suspended the strike action despite victimisation and arrears left unpaid.

Abiola said they resume duties in the interest of the patients and promise that the arrears would be paid as soon as possible.

He said it was pathetic and unfortunate that the arrears have not been paid but that they were only paid one month salary.

According to him: “The sorry situation has plunged us and our families into severe hardship and humiliation.

“In order to avert a repeat of what happened in January, we have had wide consultations in form of letters and meetings to and with both our management and government representatives to hear our peculiar situation and do the needful but to no avail.

“As determined committed and resolute as we have been in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic as frontline healthcare workers in the state in accordance with the state government’s plan to not only cut the chain of transmission but ensure that everyone in the state has access to quality healthcare.

“We will unfortunately not be able to continue to provide this much needed service beyond May 15th for the obvious reason that we would have totally run out of every means to continue to do so.

“We care about our patients and the Ondo people but no one seems to care about us or our families. We will be willing to return to work when our demands such as full payment of all we are owed including our January salary shortfall.”

Chief Medical Director of UNIMED, Dr. Oluwole Ige, said talks were on with protesting doctors to avert the strike action.