unth doctors 1 week warning strike over poor facilities
Residents at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) in Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, are on a one-week warning strike because their benefits aren’t good and the hospital is falling apart.
Under the guidance of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), the doctors said that the hospital management not only didn’t pay them enough but also couldn’t give them the basic tools they needed to give good care to patients.
In a statement released after the association’s Emergency General Meeting (EGM), where the decision to start the warning strike was made, ARD said that it had given the management several ultimatums in the past to solve these problems, but nothing had changed.
The communique, which was signed by Dr. Chinazom Ekwueme, President of ARD UNTH, and Dr. Santos Ezeh, Secretary of ARD UNTH, said, “Our members on the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) Platform (locum doctors) have been getting more and more upset.” At that EGM, we asked these members to be moved to IPPIS and paid their January salaries and hazard allowance arrears. The first deadline for a strike was set for February 21, 2023. Since our demands haven’t been met, Congress said, “The work environment has become worse.”
Other problems, according to them, include an “Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that doesn’t work, which means that some departments can’t do procedures. So, it affects the quality of care we give patients and our training as residents. In the last four months, the supply of call food has been inconsistent and sporadic. There has been no call food for several weeks, and there is no plan for a steady supply of call food so that our members can stay on call for 24 hours or more without eating. Some residents on call have to sleep in their cars because the call rooms leak and are in bad shape. Staff burnout and some residents must be on call every other day, even though the above things are true. The power and water supply keep going out, with several blackouts in the last few months. This also affects our ability as doctors to give good care, as well as the patients who need these things. The Congress was upset to see that some of our members who had been on locum status for more than two years were made permanent. This took away many of their benefits.
“The Congress made note of the fact that these of our members have not yet been moved to the IPPIS platform. They haven’t received their pay for January, arrears for nine and a half months of hazard allowance, or the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), even though they are residents and take part in courses and exams.
ARD, which wanted the problems to be fixed, said that its members would “go on a one-week warning strike starting at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, with only the most basic services at the hospital’s emergency room.”