A pressure group called Enugu Urban Residents has appealed to resident doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, ESUTH, to suspend their 11-day-old strike in the interest of human lives.
Samuel Okafor, the group’s president, made the appeal on Sunday, May 3, 2020, while addressing journalists on the impact of the industrial action on users of the facility.
Okafor said that the lingering strike was having its toll on their members who constituted about 90 percent of health seekers in the hospital.
He said that there was no doubt that the doctors needed to work under the improved conditions which necessitated their agitation.
“However, what bothers us is the timing of this strike given the threat posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The state has already recorded eight cases of COVID-19 and the health facilities are already stretched to their limits.
“All we are asking for is that these doctors should be available to fight this COVID-19 pandemic and, thereafter, continue the negotiations for improved welfare with the government,” he said.
Okafor said that in the unlikely event that the doctors failed to resume work, “the state government should immediately employ fresh doctors to make up for the shortfall.”
It would be recalled that the resident doctors had in February threatened to go on strike if the state failed to pay them 100 percent Consolidated Medical Salary Scale, CONMESS.
This resulted in the state government obtaining an exparte injunction restraining the doctors from proceeding on the strike.
However, on April 24, 2020, the resident doctors started the strike in spite of the subsisting injunction.