Medical doctors under the aegis of Conference of Anambra Civil Service Doctors have embarked on a one-week warning strike over poor remuneration and conditions of service.
Dr Livinus Chukwuma, Chairman of the Civil Service doctors, announced this at a news briefing at Enugu-Ukwu General Hospital, Enugu-Ukwu in Njikoka council area on Monday.
Chukwuma said no fewer than 60 medical doctors in Anambra General Hospitals, Comprehensive Healthcare Centre and Cottage hospitals would not attend to patients during the period.
He said the association would not be left with any other option than to shutdown operations in these categories of hospital indefinitely if the Anambra government failed to address their grouse.
According to him, Anambra Government has failed to fully implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale and provide adequate funding and equipment to enable doctors carry out diagnostics and treatment.
Chukwuma called for 100 per cent payment of CONMESS in Anambra as obtained in other states adding that manpower was aging as young doctors no longer found it attractive to be in the employ of the state.
He said: “Anambra Civil Service doctors have decided to go on seven day warning strike in protest of poor pay and poor working condition.
“There was a Memorandum of Understanding between Anambra Government and doctors represented by the Nigeria Medical Association in 2012 where government agreed to pay 50 per cent with promise to improve on it.
“Nothing has been done on that and with the revised-CONMESS, the state government is now paying just between 35 per cent and 40 per cent CONMESS, so we are calling for full pay as provided in the structure.
“We have about 60 doctors in our association but many of them are due for retirement, others are leaving the service to other states while young doctors are refusing to join because of poor pay.”
Also speaking, Dr Christopher Okonkwo, Secretary of the body said there was poor motivation among doctors in the state.
Okonkwo said the struggle was for the good of the sector and urged the public to join the doctors to appeal to government to improve the sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that efforts to reach the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabike, failed as he did not pick numerous calls put to him but a top government official who preferred anonymity said that the government was addressing the situation.
The official said that the ministry was expecting a new commissioner following recent minor cabinet reshuffle by Governor Willie Obiano.
NAN reports that the warning strike is coming five weeks into the indefinite strike embarked upon by the Association of Resident Doctors, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, branch.
Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria resumed last Monday after a one week warning strike with the threat to go on indefinite strike before the end of the month if Anambra government refuse to address their demands.