Amidst COVID-19, Enugu doctors declare strike over unpaid salaries.
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) ESUT Teaching Hospital (ESUT-TH) Parklane Enugu has resumed its indefinite strike pending fulfillment of agreement with Enugu State Government.
The Association made this known in an official letter sent to the Chief Medical Director, ESUT-TH, Parklane, Enugu dated April 24th, 2020 by its President Dr Chima Edoga and General Secretary, Dr Chukwunonso Ofonere respectively.
The industrial action is despite a court order restraining the doctors from embarking on strike yet to be vacated.
The doctors, in the letter titled: “Notice of resumption of suspended indefinite withdrawal of services by the Association Of Resident Doctors, ESUT-TH Parklane,” said their action could have been avoided if Enugu State Government kept to the written approval and numerous re-assurances given to them.
They noted have become endangered species in the face of very deadly diseases such as Lassa fever virus and COVID- 19.
They insisted that it is only fair and proper that they should be promptly given their due.
The Association revealed that they also received verbal reassurances that a written approval will be fully implemented in April, 2020 but were shocked and dismayed that Enugu State Government eventually reneged on the approval following payment of April 2020 salaries.
However, it was gathered that relationship between the ARD ESUT-TH Parklane and Enugu State government became soured when other health workers in Parklane began to agitate for similar consolidated salaries following hint that Enugu State Government has approved the ARD’s demand.
A source hinted that in a bid to resolve the matter, the government ordered all the association of health workers in Parklane to use one month, harmonise their demands and forward same to enable it study the cost implication with a view of finding lasting solutions to the agitations in the hospital.
It was also learnt that both the Association of Resident Doctors, JUHESU, leadership of the Nurses and other associations in the hospital were given the mandate to submit their demands within one month with the whole matter sorted out before the end of May or June, 2020.
Twenty-four hours before the action commenced, Enugu paid April salaries of all public servants with 25% COVID-19 allowance for all health workers in the state.
The Government said payment of the salaries to all the civil servants was in furtherance of their commitment to contain COVID-19 pandemic in the state as well as cushion the effect of the lockdown on the lives of the citizens.
Nothing less than 6 doctors have died from coronavirus in Nigeria and more than 40 health workers are presently infected with the virus according to the Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
Culled from Nation