UCH doctors threaten strike over unpaid salaries

By The Citizen

The Medical and Dental Consultants' Association of Nigeria, University College Hospital, Ibadan on Friday threatened to stall clinical activities following non-payment of their three months' salaries.

The Chairman of the association, Prof. Juwon Arotiba, told newsmen in Ibadan that they would embark on strike if the salaries and outstanding allowances were not paid.

He added that other honorary consultants in other teaching hospitals had been paid except those at the UCH.

Atotiba said the association through the UCH management gave the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum, from Nov. 29 to Dec.19 to notify them about the doctors' plight.

'We called the press also to sensitise 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,' he said.

The chairman, 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, Prof. Temitope Alonge, said the doctors' salary payment was the duty of the government and not the hospital management.

He said that 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. NAN