Strike: COOUTH doctors’ agitation being addressed — MD

Access Bank Plc

Dr Basil Nwankwo, Chief Medical Director, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), says issues being agitated by the striking doctors working in the hospital were being addressed by Anambra Government.

Nwankwo said this while speaking to newsmen in Awka on Thursday.

The CMD said the agitation of the doctors was hinged on diagnostics, conditions of service and salary and was being addressed by the hospital management and the state government.

He decried the negative effect of the strike which was exacerbated when the consultants announced indefinite strike on June 24.

“Definitely, the strike is affecting activities in the hospital, presently we are only rendering emergency and skeletal services,” he said.

Nwankwo, who assured that issues raised by the doctors were being addressed, said Anambra Government had invested about N2 billion on equipment and capital projects in COOUTH in the last one year.

“Essentially, their complaints are in three folds, diagnostics, but as I am talking to you, there has been investment of about N2 billion in the hospital in the last one year.

“If you go round, you will see that we have the oxygen plant, Mother Child Health Referral Centre being built, the Mega Laboratory and others.

“I must say that the hospital is undergoing massive revolution in the area of investment in diagnostics,” he said.

“Another complaint is the Conditions of Service. It is unfortunate that for about six years that this hospital has existed, there was no condition of service.

“So, on realising that, my management set up a committee to develop a Condition of Service.

“We have developed the Conditions of Service. The hospital management board has approved it, the government has seen it and made necessary amendments.”

he said that that the document was awaiting the state government’s accent.

“Unfortunately, government was not even aware that there was no Conditions of Service.

“So, in no distant time, it will be ready for implementation, and that will take care of confirmation of appointments, promotion exercise and indiscriminate application of rules and others.

“For the take home pay, we are all aware that financially things are tough but my management has presented it to the government and we are optimistic that government will act on it,” he said.

Nwankwo appealed to the striking doctors to be mindful of their Hippocratic Oath and return to work in the interest of patients.

He urged them to be open to dialogue so that the parties concerned could reach a reasonable agreement.

“My call is that my colleagues should know that being a doctor is a divine call, they should remember the patients they have been called to take care of.

“I urge them to reconsider their position and be open to dialogue,” he said.