The Association of resident doctors (ARD) of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, has commenced an indefinite strike actions to protest the poor welfare of doctors in the state.

Obinna Aniagboso, Chairman of ARD COOUTH, made this known in a statement on Monday in Awka.

Aniagboso lamented the poor conditions of service of doctors while adding that the state government has failed to fulfill its agreement signed on January 17, 2019 when it embarked on a warning strike to demand for the provision of adequate infrastructure that would improve clinical and diagnostic proficiency for improved patient’s care and specialist training.

He said, “It is on record that health workers in the hospital earn the least in the country, if not in the whole of West Africa.

“It is also no news that doctors here earn below 50 per cent of their actual entitlement compared to their counterparts elsewhere.

“This meager income hardly meets the bare necessities of life for the doctor and his family, let alone sponsoring professional examination and academic courses of residency programme.

He added that the poor treatment of health workers has hugely contributed to the brain drain the health sector is experiencing.

“Again, staff of the hospital has been subjected to professional stagnation, without promotion or progress since employment.

“Frustration and disgrace have led to steady exodus of highly qualified and experienced personnel, including consultants and senior residents, thus rendering the workforce unstable and undermined.

“Taking recourse to industrial action has never been our intention, but, unfortunately, we have been pushed to the wall for a long time and bruised, while efforts to get redress have proved abortive.”

He urged Willie Obiano, Anambra State Governor to address the concerns of members and in effect save lives of sick patients at the hospital.

Basil Nwankwo, Chief Medical Director of COOUTH, explained that the state government is meeting with the doctors to address their demands as soon as possible.

He also added that medical activities would continue at the hospital, as there are consultants and house officers to provide medical services to the public.

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