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Uyo resident doctors on strike over pay arrears

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh, Uyo
09 August 2016   |   2:10 am
Five days into the strike Resident Doctors, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) has accused the management of the tertiary health institution of insensitivity to their demands.
 Udom Emmanuel

Udom Emmanuel

• Accuse management of insensitivity

Five days into the strike Resident Doctors, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) has accused the management of the tertiary health institution of insensitivity to their demands.

Addressing journalists at the secretariat of the Association at UUTH, the President Dr. Christian Adeneye, accused the management of refusing to pay what relativity arrears as directed by the Federal government since January 2015.

Dr. Adeneye said they resorted to the strike after all entreaties for peaceful settlement with the management failed, stressing that the strike would have been averted if they were listened to before the end of the ultimatum given to them.

He alleged that other teaching hospitals with similar problems had settled theirs, noting that only UUTH and two other institutions have refused to implement the Federal Government directives.

The President listed other grievances against the management to include: inconsistent remittance of pension contributions of members; reluctance to sponsor members for update courses; and refusal to comply with the directive of the joint meeting of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), with other related bodies. The joint meeting had resolved that all Federal Tertiary hospitals should commence the payment of full salaries to all doctors from July 2016, and a host of other.

“Our institution remains one of the three hospitals in the country that has vehemently refused to implement the rightful entry point and arrears accrued from same to all house Officers as directed by the Federal Ministry of Health.

“In consonance with NARD directives and in the light of the aforementioned observations, the congress resolved to proceed on a total and indefinite strike until the above issues are resolved.”The resident doctors appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel, and other well meaning Akwa Ibom people to intervene in the matter, as doctors were not happy to go on strike.

He said that doctors were very passionate about their patients who patronise the hospital, but will not be able to continue working without salaries, adding that the doctors will continue with the total and indefinite strike until all their demands were met. Reacting to these allegations, the Chief Medical Director of UUTH,

Prof. Etete Peters defended that the management was not insensitive to the demands of the Resident Doctors especially as regards their financial standing, blaming the development to the shortfall in budgetary allocations to the tertiary hospital.

According to him, before now, the budget of the institution used to be N4.2billion; lamenting that this has been slashed to N3.9billion in 2015, noting that to pay all the financial demands of about 300 resident doctors, the institution would need about N25billion.

“Most of the institution they made reference to have paid, must have had their budget increased, since I cannot source money from any other place apart from the Federal Government, I had always appealed to them to bear with the management.

“I have done everything legitimate to ensure enough money is given to the hospital, we have make submission to the Budget Office to give us
additional funds,” he said.He appealed to the striking doctors to sheath their sword for the sake of the suffering patients and go back to work as the issues would soon be resolved.