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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Doctors to go on indefinite strike in Enugu

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Resident doctors at the Enugu State University Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Enugu State, have announced plans to embark on an indefinite strike over shortage of doctors and insecurity in the state.

The doctors said they were also embarking on the strike to protest alleged poor sponsorship of residency programs in the state.

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The doctors, under the platform of the Resident Doctors Association, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday in Enugu.

The statement was jointly signed by the president of the association, Chukwunonso Ofonere, and its secretary general, Ikemefuna Nnamani.

The doctors said during an emergency meeting held on December 8, 2023, they had decided to embark on strike if the Enugu State government did not meet their demands in January.

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They said in the statement that the indefinite strike would begin on January 31 as the state government had failed to meet their demands after a 14-day ultimatum.

Doctors said the government had still not met the demands after 49 days of grace.

Doctor shortage

The doctors said that the management of the teaching hospital and the state government had not declared a state of emergency over the employment of doctors and security within the hospital.

The doctors accused the government of reneging on a promise it made more than 180 days ago, through the Secretary to the State Government, Chidiebere Onyia, to employ resident doctors.

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Regarding their safety, the doctors said that the security agents who were stationed at the hospital door were no longer there and that attacks on doctors had increased. They expressed fear that their safety and that of other healthcare workers at the hospital could not be guaranteed.

Lawsuits

“The management should declare a state of emergency on the employment of doctors in the hospital. The recruitment of doctors, resident doctors and house officers in the hospital should be urgently approved.

“This hiring should especially focus on the Department of Accident and Emergency, the Department of Surgery, the Department of Internal Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics, the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” the statement reads in part.

READ ALSO: Nigerian doctors seek legislation to tackle organ trafficking

“Management must ensure implementation of security policies to protect its workers against physical attacks and kidnapping by restoring daily police and other undercover security personnel deployed in the hospital.

“The 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund has not been paid and the examining bodies are closing their advertisements,” he added.

Salary increase

The doctors said in the statement that the salary increases had not been examined at all even when house officers were excluded from the N25,000 hardship/palliative granted by the state government.

“We are still back to where we were in 2023 or even worse as plans are underway to increase rents for those living in hospital quarters (one-bedroom apartments) by about 375 percent from N8,000 to N30,000. naira. monthly.

“This will intensify the crises already palpable and we will be left with no alternative but to protect the interests and well-being of our members,” the doctors said.

The doctors called on Governor Peter Mbah to urgently intervene in the matter to avoid hardship and loss of life that could occur if there is a disruption in healthcare delivery in the state.

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