The strike action embarked upon by the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, chapter, just one week after security personnel of the hospital locked up workers and patients over unpaid salaries, may have added to the troubles of the health institution.
Recall that key offices, including that of the Chief Medical Director (CMD) were locked up last week by angry security officers thereby preventing key management staff from accessing their offices even as patients and medical personnel were equally stranded.
Similarly, Resident Doctors, in a circular with reference number: ARD-UCTH/Vol.025/03/071, signed by the association’s president, Dr. Imoke Echeng and Secretary General, Dr. Ucheji Okechukwu, said they had commenced indefinite strike due to failure of the management of UCTH to meet their demands.
According to them, “the total and indefinite strike action will continue until such a time that alerts of the salary arrears from 2014-2016 are received by members of our association (a minimum of one tranche).”
The Doctors said they had earlier embarked on warning strike but called it off after the management promised to accede to the said demands, but that nothing was done after the warning strike was suspended.
Their action, they explained, became necessary because of “failure of management to respond to our demand after embarking on a 3day warning strike which commenced on the morning of 19th February 2019 and ended by 8:00AM on Friday 22nd of February 2019 after which our members resumed duty.
“Failure of management of UCTH to respond to our demands after the Congress agreed to an appeal by UCTH Management to give them till the end of the month of February to do the needful.
“Failure of the management of UCTH to respond to our demand after a further appeal by them to further extend the date of response to our demands from the initial month end of February to 15th of March, 2019”.