Tension as Okowa, threatens mass sack of consultants, resident doctors in DELSUTH

Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa through the Board Chairman of the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Dr Chris Oghenechovwen has perfected plans to sack striking Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria, MDCAN and resident Doctors of Delta State University Teaching Hospital DELSUTH, Oghara over alleged endless demands by the striking
doctors.

This follows an order the governor issued through the institution Board Chairman to the striking Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria, MDCAN to resume duty within 72 hours or risk review of their engagement in the hospital which elapse last week Friday.

It would be recalled that the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, DELSUTH branch had embarked on an industrial action to press home their demands that bothers on inadequate facilities and consumables to work with in the hospital, the continued drain of the
scares resources of the state to pay 50 million Naira per month to 17 Diaspora health workers, termination Diaspora contract that expires October and the appointment of a Diaspora Chief Medical Director who would be paid an upwards of 5 million Naira per month.
Other demands of the Medical consultants according to a press statement issued include payment of their hospital allowances, circularization of the entry point of new consultants and
implementation of the skipping for doctors as was done for other non-doctors in the hospital.

According to MDCAN Chairman, DELSUTH branch, Dr Y.O Obiabo explained that before they embarked on the industrial action, the Medical consultants had exhausted all avenues to seek government attention to address their demands, but all to no avail.

Dr Obiabo stated that it is on record that in the past 5years, the  Association had never embarked on any local industrial action in the hospital. Stressing that MDCAN had at the commencement of the tenure of this current government in 2015 presented a letter to Okowa through the commissioner for health Dr. Nicholas Azinge informing him of
several issues concerning the administration of the hospital, funding for the hospital and welfare of staff. In the same letter MDCAN appealed to government to address the issues raised so as to foster industrial harmony and improve patient medical care in the hospital.

The MDCAN Chairman lamented that rather than addressing the issues raised, the hospital board and Delta State government had taken reverse steps that would conduct final burial for the hospital.
He pointed that since the beginning of this year, government has stopped monthly subvention being sent to the hospital; which has affected patients in the hospital.

Lamenting the comatose state of the hospital, Dr. Obiabo told newsmen that simple equipments like BP apparatus are no longer in the hospital wards, essential drugs and consumable are in short supply; pointing out that the hospital currently standing with its last leg.

He stated further that Okowa refused to pay salaries of honorary  consultants for over five months, said that they had to embark on industrial action before three months was paid, that they are still being owed four months.

He decried that despite the acclaimed limited resources in the State why Delta State government had not taught of completely terminate the  contract of the Diaspora consultants after the expiration of the current contract has been since 2008.

Accusing the State ministry of Health, allegedly advocating for the renewal of Diaspora contracts, advising the State governor to  terminate the contracts that end October and channel such funds to other areas in the hospital.

According to him, the board Chairman recently announced the appointment of a Diaspora Chief Medical Director who has no administrative experience and who would be paid five million naira per month at a time Okowa said no fund in the State who refused to send
subventions to the hospital.

“The once glorified hospital has degenerated to her present deplorable  state under the watch of the past three Diaspora CMDs who are foreign consultants, yet the government is still interested in continuing the failed experiment by appointing Diaspora personnel as CMD in spite of the fact that these previous CMDs were all sacked for lack of none performance and abysmal failure. It’s important to inform the public  that despite the huge funding of the hospital under the last so called Diaspora CMD, he left the hospital with over 500million naira debt”.

‘Nigerian based Consultants who were engage on a salary step of 7 are  still being paid step 4 despite having an employment letter more than 2 years ago that shows step 7’.
On his own part, the President of the Association of Resident Doctors DELSUTH Dr. Innocent Okoacha explained that the DELSUTH Board Chairman has threatened them with sanction if they refused attend to patients after expiration of the 72 hours ultimatum.

Dr Okoacha reiterated that members of ARD are not on strike; however as resident doctors in training they are not legally covered to attend to patients in the absence of their consultants. He said that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria would not allow them see
patients without the supervision or authorization of consultants in any teaching hospital. He said he was surprise that the Board Chairman who is a medical doctor, who should be aware of this, was threatening them with sanctions. He further stated that there are lots of issues
that government should address in DELSUTH.

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