Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH) Amaku, Awka Chapter, on Monday commenced an indefinite strike.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the action is coming seven weeks into an indefinite strike embarked upon by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of the same institution.
The consultants in a statement entitled “Notice of Resumption on an Indefinite Strike’’ said the decision was reached at their emergency meeting held at the Histopathology Auditorium Complex, COOUTH June on 21.
The statement was signed by Dr Chukwudi Okani and Dr Obiora Ejiofor, the chairman and secretary respectively.
It would be recalled that MDCAN, COOUTH, had on May 21, issued a 21-day notice of the industrial action before embarking on the warning strike on June 3.
The Consultants cited non-implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale and absence of a Condition of Service, which had resulted in stagnation of members as major reasons for their action.
They condemned what they called government’s insensitivity to their demands and vowed not to be part of any discussion that would not address those demands.
“After due notices to government and seven days warning strike to alert them on the seriousness of our demands, it seems that government has not taken us seriously.
“Consequently, arising from our Emergency Meeting, our members resolved as follows:
“That all the Medical Doctors with COOUTH, Amaku-Awka can no longer condone the situation.
“The least qualified Medical Doctors (House Officers) in Federal Institutions and other state owned teaching hospitals in Nigeria earn better than the most qualified Medical Doctors (Consultants/ Professors) in the employ of COOUTH.
“We can no longer tolerate the current status quo whereby the entire workers are stagnated without any form of promotion since the inception of the Teaching Hospital in 2012, for reasons best known to the Hospital Management.
“MDCAN COOUTH strongly condemns the seeming unresponsiveness of government at creating the enabling platform for amicable resolution of the impasse which is having its heavy effect on our patients.
“That we shall immediately proceed on indefinite strike starting from 8: 00 a.m., June 24,” they stated.
The Consultants called on Anambra State Government to urgently institute reliable and convincing measures that will ensure Implementation and payment of 100 per cent CONMESS, including arrears to all Doctors with COOUTH.
They also demanded the release and implementation of the Conditions of Service.
They, however, appealed to the people of Anambra to see reasons with their action.
“We sincerely appeal to well-meaning Anambra people, to appeal to the government to reduce the suffering patients owing to the seeming reluctance of government at finding a lasting solution to the industrial disharmony,” they said in the statement.