Residents doctors at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu have threatened to embark on yet another round of strike action to back their demand for the payment of their March 2020 salary. Not only are they worried that under the prevailing lockdown and pressure on both medical personnel and facilities at the teaching hospital, the Governor has not considered their passionate appeal to approve the immediate payment of two months arrears of salary and 3 months owed them by Owelle Rochas Okorocha amounting to 5 months salary.
According to one of the doctors who spoke to this reporter,already,the union has sent out circular to the management regarding the strike.He further observed that it is unfortunate that IMSUTH got better attention when an Owerri man was governor than Okorocha’s era.”We hope that Senator Uzodinma won’t behave like his Orlu brother who almost converted the place to poultry farm”,he stated.
He said,”The doctors regret that under the Covid-19 pandemic owing them is inconsiderate and that it is wickedness for any Governor to ignore their plight and still expect them to put in their best in saving live and showing care to the sick especially at a time every other nation in the world is doing everything to impress health workers and motivate them to put in their best in rendering humanitarian services at times at the risk of their health, comfort and family.
They however complained bitterly that though the teaching hospital is presently lacking basic medical equipment and trained staff, the Governor recently seconded some of their best hands to the isolation centre in Owerri, even when he knows that they will be left to waste idly since there is neither equipment or testing kits to conduct investigations on any reported case of patient that shows signs or manifests symptoms of Covid-19″.
He added that what the Governor has done is insensitive and mere jamboree in celebrating an isolation centre without the necessary facilities and well trained medical personnel or health officers.
Effort to reach the Chairman of Covid-19 task force committee in Imo State, Prof. Maurice Iwu, was unsuccessful as his number could not be reached to confirm the situation at the Owerri isolation centre and why the index case is quarantined at FMC instead of the so-called isolation centre.
It will be recalled that not long ago, the same resident doctors at IMSUTH, Umuna Orlu went on strike demanding payment of 3 months arrears of salaries. Though Emeka Ihedioha promised to offset the outstanding bills, he ended up paying for the seven months he held sway and still left the doctors in the lurch.