Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Nigeria: Imo State Doctors Threaten Strike Over Salary Arrears

Doctors in Imo State are threatening to embark on an indefinite strike barely a week after the #SaveIMSUTH movement by students.

The doctors are demanding the immediate payment of eight-month salary arrears of doctors and health workers, payment of corrected CONMESS and the expansion of facilities at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, general hospitals and health centres.

Their other demands include: the immediate lifting of the ban on promotion of doctors and other health workers, the immediate reversal of the process of handing over public health institutions to private individuals and genuine commitment by the Owelle Rochas Okorocha-led state government to health institutions.

The state NMA Chairman, Dr. Hyacinth Emele, said several presentations and meetings by the professional body to the government over the demands were met with rebuffs and therefore any NMA member who supported the privatization of the state government-owned hospitals, would face stiff disciplinary measures.

Governor Okorocha administration was also accused of "fraudulently" granting concession of the Imo State Specialist Hospital to his former adviser.

In the press conference, Dr. Emele expressed worry over the suspension of admission of medical students for the next three years by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria into IMSUTH.

He said, “It is sad and painful that when we are supposed to be talking of expanding our facilities so as to admit more of our children into medical school, we are at the verge of losing the existing one.”

Meanwhile, on Monday, a former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, Enyinnaya Onuegbu asked Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha to either settle down and provide real governance for the state or resign; he condemned Okorocha for abandoning his duties as a governor to promote his personal political ambitions while leaving the state to his son-in-law (the chief of staff) to run.

I think someone needs to put his house in order quickly.

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