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Members of staff of Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, on Thursday shut the administrative block of the hospital in protest over 18 months’ payment of half salaries.


This was in addition to other grievances.

The protesters alleged that while they had been paid 70 percent for 18 months, the hospital management had not paid them their salaries at all in the last three months.

The embittered workers who demonstrated under the auspices of Joint Action Committee, said they had lost confidence in the management.

They asked the management to begin to serve the interest of IMSUTH staff, patients and that of the entire hospital or step aside.

Briefing newsmen, JAC chairman, Dr. Bright Chukwunta, said the reduced salary and, lately, non payment of salaries by the management had led to the death of four of their colleagues.

Chukwunta said, “As I speak to you, four of our colleagues are in the morgue. We are going through unbearable financial distress and ill health due to our inability to meet our essential needs.

“Salaries have been arbitrarily reduced by 30 percent for the past 18 months and the salaries of the past three months — May, June and July of 2017  — are yet to be paid at all. We cannot even pay our wards’ school fees.”

He accused the Chief Medical Director of IMSUTH, Dr. Fredrick Anoluo, and other top management staff of being “insensitive” to their plight.

They issued a 21-day ultimatum to the management to pay the cumulative arrears of the 30 percent of the 18 months and the hundred percent of the three months.

Otherwise, they said, they would go on total strike.

However, the CMD, who spoke to our correspondent, said, “It is true that we are owing our staff three months’ salaries and had paid 70 percent for sometime now.

“But it is not our making. The 70 percent payment is the policy of the state government, which was implemented across the state.

“It is not our making. For the three months’ salary arrears, it was when the resident doctors went on strike and the government said ‘no work no salary.'”

Confirming the resilience of the doctors, the CMD said, “Truly, they have endured and I implore them to be patient.

“We are in touch with the government to see how the issues can be resolved amicably. Going on strike won’t help the matter; rather, it will affect our means of generating income, which we use to offset some of our bills.

“Our subvention is 70 percent and not 100 percent; so we work hard to meet up with the operational and administrative standards.

“The management is making huge sacrifices to make sure that the hospital is up to standards.”



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