As resident doctors at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka, the Anambra State capital, embarked on a strike on Monday, they have advised the Anambra State Government to put donations made by philanthropists for COVID-19 to the purpose they were meant.
The chapter President of the body Dr Obinna Aniagboso, told newsmen on Tuesday as he ran round to mobilise members for the strike that apart from the fact that his members are not paid hazard allowance as approved by the Federal Government, there were other outstanding issues the resident doctors are yet to thrash out with the State Government.
Aniagboso said: “Throughout this period we work every day exposing ourselves to danger and you know the situation in Anambra state. There is increasing number of COVID-19 patients and we have more exposure.
“So, the issue of hazard allowance is not negotiable. May I ask: the monies which are donated by philanthropists to the government for COVID-19 what are they used for? Yet we work day and night. We have more COVID-19 incidence.”
Aniagboso lamented that as it stands now his members hazard allowance, their take home is N10,500 which “is unconscionable”.
Apart from all these, he continued, the issue of pay parity between his members and those in federal ministries is another sore point. This has not guaranteed job stability in the system.
His members, he said, received half salary and this is the cause of exodus of their members to federally owned teaching hospitals.
Currently, he said about a dozen of his members were set to leave for such other hospitals.
For these reasons, he said his members have no choice than to proceed on the industrial action called out by the national body because “some of the issues highlighted also affected us.”