Doctors demand probe of dearth of facilities at UNIPORT teaching hospital
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has urged the Federal Government to carry out forensic auditing of the hospital due to inadequate funding of departments and units.
But the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Aaron Ojule, who accused the doctors of blackmail, has appealed to them to suspend their ongoing strike in the interest of the patients.
The doctors staged a peaceful protest from the hospital to the East-West Road to demand a resolution of the issues that led to the industrial action, which started on August 3.
The President, UPTH resident doctors, Achor Mike and the Secretary General, Ezenwa Ahanene, explained that the management of the hospital has failed to address the issues of lack of consumables required to render effective healthcare services and the incessant cases of robbery around the facility.
They also lamented that call rooms were dilapidated, and that the funding of departments and units in the hospital had remained grossly inadequate despite availability of internally generated revenue.
The doctors who chanted solidarity songs complained that the management has failed to pay them examination and update allowances for the past three years.
According to them, there has been gross under-employment of house officers.
They accused the UPTH authorities of failure to address any of the contentious issues since the declaration of an indefinite strike some weeks ago. They, however, vowed not to resume until all the problems are resolved.
The doctors also accused the UPTH management of benefiting from the crisis rocking the hospital and specifically accused the chief medical director of sabotaging the efforts of the Federal Government to provide adequate healthcare for the masses.
Reacting to the allegations, Prof. Ojule explained that the healthcare sector is not insulated from the current economic recession and implored the doctors to suspend the strike in the interest of the patients and other stakeholders.
Ojule said that it was disheartening for doctors who are on oath to renege on their pledge to save lives and embark on incessant industrial actions.
He explained that no hospital management is authorised by the Federal Government to enter into any agreement or obligations relating to the use of public funds on behalf of the government.