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Imo govt, doctors hold truce talks to end crisis in health sector

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Imo State Government has engaged the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Imo State Chapter, in a dialogue over the lingering crisis in the health sector.

While the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmas Iwu, led government’s delegation, comprising the Chief of Staff (Government House), Nnamdi Anyaehie and the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Damaris Osunkwo; the NMA members was led by the state chairman of the association, Dr. Chidiebere Okwara.

Iwu, who spoke with newsmen after the meeting, described what transpired between the government and NMA delegation as a fruitful deliberation.

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He said the NMA leadership appreciated the state government for its effort to improve the infrastructure in the health sector and promised to work towards ending the lingering strike action embarked upon by members of the association in the state.

Iwu said government was poised to continue the development of the state health sector, stressing that health care development is one of the cardinal objectives of the Hope Uzodimma-led administration.

“We have done a lot, both in the primary, secondary and tertiary health sectors and NMA is quite appreciative of these giant strides. That’s why they called for this meeting and it is good they reciprocate. We are waiting for them and government is also willing to address all those issues that will help them perform and do their work very well,” he said.

ALSO, Okwara, while fielding questions from newsmen, affirmed that the meeting availed the delegation the opportunity to represent the challenges confronting their members in the state, as well as proffer solutions to them.

According to him, “NMA will go back, look at our resolutions at the meeting today. I am hopeful there will be a good outcome, having received assurances from government that those issues we highlighted will be resolved.”

He listed some of the issues to include the 2014 CONMEISS implementation, salaries of consultants in the state teaching hospital that have not been paid since March 2020, slash in salaries of doctors in Hospital Management Board and Imo Specialist Hospital and non-remittance of check-off dues of members to the union.

Other issues, according to the chairman, included non-accreditation of Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu College of Medicine, need for residency training in the teaching hospital, among others.

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