By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The striking resident doctors of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka Anambra State, on Wednesday, rejected the a N12.000 wage increase offer by the state Governor, Willie Obiano
It would be recalled that the Association of Resident Doctors of COOUTH had embarked on an indefinite strike action following the failure of the State Government to honour the agreement it signed with the association on 17th January 2019 during their warning strike
The doctors insisted on continuing on the indefinite strike action which kicked off on May 13, 2019.
They wondered why doctors in the hospital should suffer continued neglect, saying that full payment of their salary should be paid and back dated from April 2019, as agreed to by government representatives.
Conveying the governor’s message to the visibly upset doctors during their Congress meeting on Awka, the President of the association, Dr. Obinna Aniagboso said the governor has offered to pay them N12,000 minimum wage.
He said, “The governor said the wage will amount to N12, 000 increment to all Anambra State civil servants as soon as the national guidelines were released.
Aniagboso explained that the governor while regretting the poor monthly salaries the doctors receive said it was due to low Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
According to him, the governor promised to look into the issue of resident doctors’ salaries next year when the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) might have increased.
The doctors however expressed shock and disappointment at the minimum wage offer saying, “We will no longer continue to receive 40% of our salary. We’ve been languishing in penury with no progress in our residency training.
“With many of us leaving in droves, the hospital will continue to remain stagnant if nothing is done urgently to remedy the situation.
“We are continuing with the strike action pending the implementation of 100% of CONMESS as obtained elsewhere. Let government approve and grant In-service training for all qualified medical officers.”
They doctors further condemned the “devious tactics and insincerity of the hospital management” insisting on no services until demands were met.