DELSUTH: Resident Doctors Cripple Services Over Salary Arrears

Resident doctors at the Delta State Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara, Tuesday, paralysed activities at the hospital due to the failure of the state government to settle their accumulated salaries and arrears.

The hospital was partially shut down as the resident doctors on began a major industrial action over non-implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) by the State Government.

The decision to embark on the strike followed an eight-month warning and notice to DELSUTH management by the doctors after deferring the strike action three times in the past due to the intervention of well meaning Deltans, Consultants in DELSUTH, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

THEWILL learnt that the backlog of the salaries and arrears of the resident doctors inherited by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa runs into several millions of naira as the striking workers said the state government has reneged on its promises since January 2014.

In a document obtained by THEWILL, the doctors cited long delay in the payment of refund for updates, outstation postings and examination sponsorship arrears covering more than two years, as some other reasons for embarking on the industrial action.

In the document jointly signed by the President of Association Resident Doctors (ARD, DELSUTH), Dr. Okocha Innocent; Dr. Omovigho Agbele, Secretary General and Dr. Orhewere Ejiro (PRO), the striking doctors also cited the delayed advancement and implementation of senior registrars one (SR 1) salary and arrears after qualifying and functioning in that capacity for more than three years as reason for the strike action.

The document also expressed dismay at the insecurity in Oghara in view of recurrent kidnapping of doctors and other heinous crimes, saying “Four resident doctors have been kidnapped in less than one year and their families made to borrow money to pay ransom.”

According to the doctors, “While the association regrets the inconveniences this strike action may have on the patients in particular, we are hoping and expecting that the general public and well-meaning Deltans will appeal to the conscience of the relevant stakeholders in a bid to put these issues to rest, thereby forestalling incessant and preventable industrial actions from this institution and for the ultimate benefit of our patients.”

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