CORONAVIRUS; ENUGU GOVT KICKS OVER TIMING OF DOCTORS’ STRIKE ACTION

The Enugu State Ministry of Health has described the purported strike embarked upon by the Association of Resident Doctors in Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane as ill-timed.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, said this in a statement signed on behalf of the state’s Commissioner for Health in the state yesterday in Enugu.

Agujiobi said it was worrisome that the strike was coming at a time that the Federal Government and various state governments were grappling with the challenge of the new COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

“The Enugu State Government received with dismay, the news that the ESUTH ARD doctors have proceeded on a five-day warning strike.

“This is ill-timed, malicious, condemnable and not done in good faith.

“More so, it completely contradicts the creeds of the oaths, which they swore to uphold,’’ he said.

Agujiobi noted that the expected 24 hours’ notice of the purported strike was not given to the state government, saying that runs contrary to labour laws on strike.

“For now, all the key officials of ARD ESUTH Parklane have since remained incommunicado as their phones are switched off,’’ he added.

The permanent secretary alleged that patients in the wards were hurriedly discharged and may have attendant complications with poor health outcomes.

“More worrisome is the fact that the state government has not owed any of the doctors their monthly salary and the doctors are comparatively well cared for.

“For instance, last month (February) salary was paid on Saturday, February 22 with the New minimum wage and the upward consequential adjustment.