Imo Doctors Give Governor Ultimatum To Improve Health Sector

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

The Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has given Governor Rochas Okorocha, a 21-day ultimatum to fix the health sector of the state.

Chairman of NMA in Imo State, Darlington Akukwu, in a statement issued in Owerri, the State capital, noted that the health sector is in danger, as the policies of the State government were not encouraging.

Akukwu stated that state-owned hospitals are grossly underfunded, adding that the state’s college of medicine has also lost its accreditation.

“We hereby declare a state of emergency on the state health sector and issue a 21 days ultimatum to the State government to address the issues,” the statement read.

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According to Akukwu, the issue with the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, IMSUTH, Orlu, is that  “the hospital lacks adequate personnel.”

“This is because there is no specialist that would want to work in a place with poor remuneration and inadequate staff motivation,” he said.

“There is therefore need to increase the funding to the hospital to ensure sustained qualitative service delivery.

“Outstanding salaries and remuneration, include payment of arrears of 30 percent of expected salary of doctors in the hospital from January 2016 to August 2016.”

The NMA president also noted that “outstanding salary arrears of 5 months (September 2016 January 2017)” must be paid.

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He also stressed that government must implement “the revised Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, for doctors, which has been operational in many hospitals across the country since 2014.”

Akukwu further stated: “The points enumerated above resulted in the loss of accreditation of some vital clinical departments in the hospital and that of college of medicine.

“The implications is that it will result to untold hardship to students and parents who have laboured to keep them in school.

“It will also mean that it will be difficult for our children who may desire to study medicine to gain admission into Imo state University, and those already in the system can no longer graduate having spent upwards of ten years already in the school.

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The doctors’ association also harped on the need“to set up special intervention measures to carter for people living with HIV/AIDS, tubaculosis, mental fever and Ebola disease.”

The statement also called for an end to the “unwarranted harassment, intimidation and humiliation suffered by our members in the state government employ in the hands of some government functionaries.”

“This is contrary to the rules of engagement and provision of the civil service rules,” it read.