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.