Serious labour crisis is now brewing in Imo State medical sector as the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has made a six-point demand on Imo State Government, including full and immediate payment of eight months salary arrears of doctors and health workers in the state. Addressing a news conference in Owerri at the weekend, the NMA Chairman, Dr. Hyacinth Emele, also identified payment of the corrected CONMESS and skipping, to doctors working in the state as part of the problem.
“NMA demands the expansion of facilities, including manpower and equipment at Imo State University Teaching Hospital, IMSUTH, general hospitals and Primary Health Centres, especially IMSUTH, in order to train more medical doctors and maintain accreditation”, the NMA leadership said.
The doctors equally demanded immediate lifting of the ban on promotion of doctors and other health workers, as well as immediate reversal of the process of handing over of public health institutions to private individuals.
Equally irked by what the doctors termed “lip service the present administration pays to the health sector”, the doctors also called for “genuine commitment by the government to make sure that the health institutions function optimally, for the good of all”.
While alerting the public of that the accreditation granted IMSUTH Medical School may soon be lost, if government refuses to expand the training facilities, the NMA leadership however lamented that the state government “chose to embark on the building of 27 poorly sited new General Hospitals, without proper planning”.
The doctors accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of going on with the construction of the new hospitals without identifying the needs of the people and running against the advice of NMA to do a pilot study with one hospital in each of the three senatorial zones of the state.
While recalling with grief that the concessioning of the Specialist Hospital, Owerri, was counter productive, the NMA also condemned the planned handing over of all public health institutions to private individuals.