Members of staff of the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, on Thursday shut the administrative block of the hospital in protest over 18 months payment of half salaries, among other grievances.
The protesters alleged that while they had been paid 70 per cent of their salaries for 18 months, the management of the hospital had not paid them in the last three months.
The medics, who demonstrated under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee, said they had lost confidence in the management of the hospital.
Briefing newsmen, JAC chairman, Dr. Bright Chukwunta, claimed that the slash and non-payment of salaries by the management had led to the death of four of his colleagues.
Chukwunta said “As I speak to you, four of our colleagues are in the morgue. We are going through unbearable financial distress and ill-health due to inability to meet our essential needs.
“Salaries have been arbitrarily reduced by 30 per cent for the past 18 months now and the salaries of the past three months, May, June and July of 2017, have yet to be paid at all. We cannot even pay our wards’ school fees.”
He accused the Chief Medical Director of IMSUTH, Dr. Fredrick Anoluo, and other members of the top management committee of being insensitive to their plight.
Clad in black attires, clutching placards with various inscriptions stating their grievances, the medical personnel prayed to God to intervene in their matter.
Chukwunta, a surgeon, who doubles as the chairman of the Association of Resident Doctors of the hospital, lamented that members of staff worked day and night without salaries.
He said, “Do you know that we conduct delivery operation with torchlight? While we have a member of the top management committee who has collected three months salaries in advance, we are not paid. No staff clinic and the management (staff) are running on the hospital’s bills, including fueling of the generators in their houses and cars.”
The CMD of the hospital, Dr. Fredrick Anolue, said, “It is true that we owe our workers three months’ salaries and have been paid 70 per cent for some time now, but it is not our making. The 70 per cent payment is the policy of the state government which was implemented across the state. It is not our making. For the three months salary arrears, it was when the resident doctors went on strike and the government said no work, no salary.”
Souece: Cassandra Adaze-Obi
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