Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
After months of protests and warnings, doctors in Abia State Wednesday, proceeded on indefinite strike action.
The actions was as a result of the failure of the State Government to clear the 24 months of salary arrears owed doctors and other staff of the Abia State Teaching Hospital, Aba ABSUTH; and 13 months owed their counterparts at the Health Management Board, HMB.
The shutdown affecting both public and private hospitals, according to the doctors is indefinite.
Ikengaonline had reported that doctors in the state had last Thursday, blocked the entrance gate to the Government House Umuahia, demanding immediate payment of the arrears.
During the protest the State Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr Isaiah Abali, had threatened that doctors would cripple the state health sector should Government fail to heed their demands.
But the protesting doctors were snubbed by Government as no official came to receive or address them at the Government House
Determined to make real their threat, the doctors, Wednesday decided to down tools.
Speaking with Ikengaonline on phone, the State Secretary of NMA, Dr Daniel Ekeleme, said that the strike was total and indefinite.
He said it had already received 98% compliance at the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia as doctors stayed away from duty.
Dr Ekeleme vowed that doctors in the state would sustain the measure until Government did the needful.
He, however, said the situation could be reviewed as things unfold.