Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH) Chapter, Awka, Anambra, has lamented the movement of 45 medical doctors to other medical institutions in two years.
Dr Chukwudi Okani, Chairman of MDCAN, COOUTH, made this known at a news conference in Awka on Wednesday.
According to him, 10 consultants and 35 resident doctors were affected.
The association called out its members at COOUTH on an indefinite strike on Nov. 30 over what it described as poor conditions of service and non-implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS).
Okani said that if the issues that led to the 11-day-old strike were not urgently addressed, manpower shortage might soon hit the university teaching hospital as more medical personnel might be forced to leave.
He said the major factors that were responsible for movement of professional services were inadequate reward and lack of job satisfaction.
“We are not happy with the development in the hospital. The strike is still on.
“ The consultants are not working, nothing can be said to be going on.
“We have not heard anything concrete as regards our demands. All we have heard is rumour but we have not seen any change in our salaries.
“Sadly, some our members have left and we fear some others are on the line. As I speak about 35 Resident Doctors and 10 Consultants have left the hospital to other places in the last two years.
“These are verifiable. It is unethical to release their identities to the public.
“There is need for urgent action to forestall a system breakdown in the hospital. We need these trained men to man the machines, because it is hard to train a doctor, more so, a consultant,” Okani said.
He said the strike would only be called off when the Anambra Government is able to meet their legitimate demands.
“We needed promotions as against our seven years’ stagnation. We need the payment of the minimum of 70 per cent of CONMESS,” he said.
Reacting, Dr Vincent Okpala, the Commissioner for Health in Anambra told newsmen that the state government was working hard to ensure that there were no further exit of experienced manpower at the teaching hospital.
Okpala who did not disclose when the government’s package would be unveiled, said the doctors and the entire staff of COOUTH would be happy when it is unveiled.
He said the grievances that led to the doctors’ strike were receiving government’s attention by the committee set up to resolve the issues including the striking doctors.
“The poor working condition is being addressed. This will help retain the doctors that we have.
“That is what Gov. Willie Obiano’s administration is working to achieve.
“I believe we will see a reversal of what led to the strike and where doctors will like to render their professional services in COOUTH.
“We now have condition of services. Diagnostic is being handled with installation of scan and other equipment.
“For CONMESS, we are talking with them and they are going to be happy with the package government is going to come up with,” the commissioner said.