By Chidi Nkwopara, Owerri
Labour crisis is looming in the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Owerri, over unpaid salaries and anti-labour policies of the hospital management.
Patients and their relations were stranded for the greater part of yesterday when Resident Doctors abandoned their duty posts and converged in front of the Administrative Block to press home their demand for better treatment.
Addressing newsmen at the scene of the protest, the President, Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, Dr. Ogoke Nwakanma, accused the hospital management of reneging on all previous agreements.
“The December 2015, March and July 2017 salaries have not been paid. The balance of January, February, April and June 2017 salaries are yet to be paid. The House Officers are still wrongly placed”, Nwakanma fumed.
While saying that some Resident Doctors have not received any salary since January 2017, Dr. Nwakanma said that non-payment of upgrade arrears and sponsorship of doctors for the applicable programmes was hurting them badly.
He mentioned the periodic sacking of Resident Doctors in the hospital as one of the anti-labour policies of the management, pointing out that 35 Resident Doctors were summarily laid off last June.
On the welfare of patients, Nwakanma took serious exception to what he called “the abnormal hike in the prices of hospital services”.
His words: “Admission fee has been raised to a staggering N75,000 in this Federal Government owned hospital. Patients on admission are now forced to pay N2,500 daily for meals, even when they are unconscious”, Dr Nwakanma said.