The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri chapter, an affiliate of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has commenced an indefinite strike.
The doctors are on strike for what they described as “unjust treatment” by both the Federal Ministry of Health and the management of FMC, Owerri.
Addressing a press briefing yesterday after their general meeting at FMC, Owerri, the President of ARD, FMC Owerri chapter, Dr. Ogoke Nwakamma expressed dismay over the refusal of the Federal Ministry of Health to settle their December 2015 salary, even when every possible efforts had been made to state the obvious.
He accused the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole and the management of the FMC Owerri for sitting on the fence in respect of their unpaid salaries, which also include the months of October, November and December 2016 for just no cause.
“It is no news to the people of Imo State and Nigerians in general that in the past few years the health sector has experienced a lot of problems that sometimes lead to industrial disharmony. A good number of times FMC Owerri is at the centre of such crisis and the height of it was in 2015 when the management had problems with the non doctors in the hospital. This affected service delivery although the second half of 2015.
“Amidst these crises doctors in FMC Owerri especially Resident Doctors remained calm and continued to discharge their duties and never declared any form of industrial action at any point. But it is unfortunate that up till now doctors in FMC Owerri remains the only doctors in FMCs nationwide that are yet to receive their December 2015 salary.
“Up till now Resident Doctors in FMC Owerri are yet to be paid their October, November and December 2016 salaries which our colleagues elsewhere have received”, he stated.
Nwakamma stressed that it was also appalling that since 2014 resident doctors had been paid only a percentage of their full salary as agreed between the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Federal Government in 2013, adding that other FMCs had started paying full salaries expect that of FMC Owerri.
He itemized other contending issues to include: poor condition of services, non remittance of their pensions to the appropriate body, non full implementation of the unified residency training manual, non circularization of the House Officers entry point, and demanded immediate enrolment of all their members into the integrated payroll and personal information system (IPPIS) platform to ensure appropriate remuneration.