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Unpaid salaries: Strike paralyses Ekiti teaching hospital

The Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH) has badly affected by the strike embarked on by members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) over unpaid four months salaries.

This situation has jeopardise the fates of patient on  admission as they complained of been abandoned to suffer and deprived of the efficient medical attention, while some of them have already started fleeing the hospital for other private health institutions and Federal Teaching hospital due to “lack of adequate attention combine with poor facilities in place.”

Daily Times gathered that the patients at the State Teaching Hospital have been thrown into unwarranted hopeless situation and pains since Monday April 11, 04, 2016 when the Doctor started their strike.

When our correspondent visited the Hospital, some of the patients who spoke under anonymity, said those diagnosed for critical ailments had pressed for referral to private hospitals and Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, to prevent sudden death.

Some of the Very Important Personalities (VIPs) admitted in the hospital in recent time also complained about alleged poor attitude to work by some staff and filthy environment, which they said could cause health hazards.

Also, a top member of the hospital’s management team who reacted to the strike under anonymity because he was not authorized to speak said: “We are speaking to the striking doctors, but it seems as if they are recalcitrant, they didn’t want to bow to pressure at all.

“But we are optimistic that the meeting of Monday, April 18 will yield good result. Hopefully, by Monday or Tuesday, they should suspend the strike and return to work”, he said.

The Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Ekiti chapter, Dr. John Akinbote, who justified the strike action, said the body and its affiliates, had always been the vanguards of health promotion in the country, saying payment their salaries and other benefits should not be allowed to suffer unduly.

Dr Akinola who noted that that it was quite disheartening that those sacrificing for robust healthcare delivery in the country were being abandoned, added “People should come out and speak for the doctors. Our strike action is to press home for the payment of four months salaries being owed our members.

“We are all aware of the fuel scarcity and our children are in schools, we have to pay their school fees and also attend to other bills. People will live better if appropriate things are done .Morbidity and mortality have increased as a result of poor health condition of our people.

“The unpaid salaries are exacerbating the medical conditions of Nigerians and the government must do the needful. If we refuse to go on strike, the government will just sleep over this matter. The fight is not about doctors alone, but for all workers.

“How do people get money to go to work when salaries are not paid? We are talking to ARD on how the salaries can be paid, so that they can return to work. We are appealing to the government to find a balanced ground to resolve the issue. We expect the government to do the needful, so that the strike will not be prolonged unnecessarily”, he pleaded.

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