by crossriverwatch admin
Inspite of the decision by Nigeria Medical Association to call off strike, resident doctors in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital have vowed to continue the strike until their allowances and salaries are paid.
Chairman of the UCTH Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Agam Ayuk, who spoke Tuesday in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, lamented that apart from the huge wages which remained unpaid, a budgetary allocation of N20m annually for training purposes was grossly inadequate.
Ayuk, who spoke alongside the Secretary and Public Relations Officer of the association, Dr. Kennedy Nwachukwu and Dr. Anisil Chukwuemeka respectively, said UCTH as one of the six pilot centers used by the Federal Government to test-run the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, there are a myriad of issues that still need to be addressed.
He said, “The Federal Government started the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems in June and UCTH was one of the pilot centers. It came with a lot of irregularities which resulted to agitations. Our national body became involved, several agreements were reached to resolve the problems but the Federal Government did not meet up with its part.
“Funds were released to pay some outstanding arrears and it was based on that that the national body called off the strike on October 24. The money never went round as it only settled wages of house officers from June to September and honorariums for some categories of consultants. After that obligation the hospital was left with nothing.”
He stated that as part of agreement with the Federal Government, it was observed that there were some mistrust as to the manner the fund was disbursed.
Ayuk added that a task force set up by the Federal Government to look into the discrepancies discovered that the hospital was not well funded.
“The task force was here during the week and we gathered that the hospital was not given enough funds. Based on the issue, we decided to continue with the local strike until these salaries are paid. Until they do that, we will not be returning to work,” he said.
Also, the secretary of the association said the institution was grossly underfunded in the area of training.
Nwachukwu said with only N20m budgeted for training it showed that the Federal Government was not interested in training of medical doctors which is the reason for the high level of brain drain.
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