Residents withdraw sick relatives as doctors begin strike at Enugu teaching hospital
Relatives yesterday began to withdraw their sick ones from the Enugu State University of Science Teaching Hospital (ESUT-Parklane) as resident doctors attached to the facility embarked on a one-week warning strike over non-payment of their health professional clinical allowances for two years.
Okechukwu Eze, who said they had an appointment with a doctor at the facility on Thursday, said they could not get attention, as no doctor was available to attend to them.
But Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Enugu State Chapter, Dr. Ike Okwesiri, said the resident doctors took to the strike as a last option following series of futile efforts to get the state government pay their allowances.
He said that while the body believes the consolidated medical scale should be paid to every doctor, there has been segregation in the case of Enugu State, as the allowances were paid to doctors in the Ministry of Health and leaving those of resident doctors at ESUT-Parklane.
He said: “ESUT Parklane doctors are receiving close to nothing and they have been at the forefront to say put us at par with our colleagues in the state. Surprisingly, this has not happened and we have tried to reach out to the state government within the last two weeks to avert this crisis in the health sector but the government was not keen on doing that.”
However, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ekochin Fintan, said the state government was working hard to avoid crisis in the health sector and expressed the confidence that the matter would soon be sorted out.