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Ebonyi teaching hospital doctors go on strike

THE Association of Resident Doctors of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi  State, on Monday began  a warning strike over unpaid salaries.

The President of the association, Dr Osuagwu Philips, wondered why they had not been paid   despite  the hospital getting money from  the Federal Government.

Philips said they had to embark on the strike since the hospital refused to pay them.

He  said  other tertiary institutions in the South-East had paid their doctors their salary  arrears since last year.

He said, “We decided to embark on  strike  because of the money that we are being owed by the hospital.

“It was supposed to be paid to us last December. The sum  of N50m was released  (by the Federal Government) for the purpose and we have tried to negotiate with management to pay  us but  they refused.

“We are not alone in this. Other South-East hospitals like  the UNTH, FMC, Owerri, FMC Umuahia, National Orthopaedic Hospital and others  received the same money and  they have all paid their doctors.

“It has been a challenged  for  us and the same thing happened in 2018 when N100m was given  to our hospital for this purpose. After  the hospital agreed that they would  pay us, they changed  following the change of regime, and eventually they did not pay us.

“So, that is the situation we found  ourselves  in December 2019 when N50m was released.”

Phillips said they would embark on an indefinite strike if they were not paid  after the warning strike.

He said, “We met with the CMD on Monday  to see if he would  see reasons why he should pay us,  but he refused and that is why the congress took  the  decision to go on  strike.”

The Chief Medical Director, Dr E. Ogah, said the Federal Government only released N50m for the payment of casual workers and not resident doctors.



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