The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku-Awka has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Anambra State Government for payment of enhanced salaries to its members.
Chukwudi Okani, chairman of the association, gave the warning in Awka on Wednesday at a press briefing after an emergency meeting of the group.
The chairman said that the association would commence indefinite strike should the government fail to heed the call.
Mr Okani, flanked by some members of his association, expressed dismay that salaries received by medical consultants at Amaku were lower than salaries received by House officers in Federal Medical Centres across the South-East zone.
“I have been a consultant for more than six years now, but you cannot believe that my salary here is not up to what a house officer receive in any of the FMC in the South-East zone,” he said.
Mr Okani further said the seven-day ultimatum given was due to the inability of the state to implement an agreement it reached with the group after the suspension of July 8 strike.
“After the suspension of July 8 strike, we agreed with the Anambra State Government that salaries paid consultants at Amaku should be equal to that received by other consultants in teaching hospitals.
“We have other issues that we presented to the government which made Gov. Willie Obiano to inaugurate a committee to investigate and submit its findings and recommendations to the government within one month,’’ he said.
Mr Okani regretted that since the suspension of the strike, the committee had not submitted its report.
Amaechi Nwachukwu, immediate past chairman of the association who also spoke at the briefing, called on the governor to intervene on the matter to avert possible collapse of services at the hospital.
“Medical consultants are in charge of patients in the teaching hospitals and if they should embark on indefinite strike, it means services will be seriously disrupted and people are bound to suffer immensely,’’ he said.
He explained that members of the group were not asking for an increase in salaries, but merely asking for the payment of salaries paid consultants in other hospitals.
Mr Nwachukwu noted that poor remuneration to medical workers at COOUTH, Amaku- Awka, would adversely affect healthcare services.