UNTH doctors still on strike days after NARD suspended action
More than one week after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) called off its nationwide industrial action, resident doctors at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku Ozalla, Enugu State, have continued the strike action, following the non-payment of two months arrears of salary owed their members employed under local arrangement by the hospital.
It was also gathered that the development came on the heels of the inability of the hospital management to regularise the employment of over 160 doctors employed in 2011 to fill the vacuum created by dearth of medical personnel.
It was further learnt that when the doctors were employed, they were promised that they would be converted to regular resident doctors, and, thereafter, join the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) after six months in practice. They have, however, been in practice since then, and not sure when their conversion would come.
On Wednesday, August 9, the doctors had addressed a press briefing, lamenting management’s insensitivity to their plight. They had, at that forum, called for payment of their three months outstanding salary, conversion to regular doctors, as well as other allowances.
Moved by the development, the management of the hospital, through its Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Obinna Onudugo, who had earlier blamed the Federal Government for the delay in payment of the salaries, as well as approval to regularise the services of the affected doctors, had released their one-month salary.
Perturbed, however, by the plight of their colleagues, medical doctors in the institution had convened an emergency general meeting and resolved to continue with the strike until issues affecting their members are resolved.
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