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Doctors Strike Looms at UCH Over Unpaid Salaries

…As Chief Medical Director Calls For Patience

Kayode Adelowokan, Lagos

Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan has threatened to stall clinical activities following non-payment of their three months’ salaries.

MDCAN Chairman, Professor Juwon Arotiba, who disclosed this while addressing journalists in Ibadan said members of the association would embark on an indefinite strike if the salaries and outstanding allowances were not paid.

Prof. Arotiba said other honorary consultants in other teaching hospitals have been paid except those at the UCH.

He recalled that the union gave Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum from November 29 to December 19, 2013, to notify them but government has failed to yield to doctors’ plight.

He said, “We called the press also to sensitize the government, management and nation that they need to do something now to avoid terrible situation of the hospital, if the association embarks on strike.

“A strike by the Medical and Dental Consultants will lead to a total paralysis of all forms of clinical duties as we are the people responsible for the overall care of patients.”

The MDCAN boss therefore, called on the management and government to pay their outstanding allowances before the end of December.

“Otherwise, we may be compelled to take painful but inevitable steps that may disrupt the existing industrial harmony between us and the hospital’s management,” Arotiba said.

In his reaction, the UCH Chief Medical Director, Professor Temitope Alonge, said the doctors’ salary payment was the duty of the government and not the hospital management.

He said some doctors in other teaching hospitals were also not paid.

“To the best of my knowledge, there is no proof that only the MDCAN in UCH is not paid and there is no way the government can single them out”, he said.

Alonge, however, appealed to the doctors to exercise patience till the government releases their payment.

“Let them know that payment of salaries comes from Abuja and not us and we cannot borrow money to pay them because it is against financial regulations in the civil service.

“We are not fighting with them, we have informed them in Abuja and we will let them know as soon as the funds are released,” he said.

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