Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The indefinite strike embarked upon by Resident Doctors of the Anambra State-owned Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, has been suspended.
The strike which lasted for two months was, however, suspended for one month to give room for more arbitration.
Already, doctors on duty reported to their duty posts this morning and were seen attending to patients when our correspondents visited.
In a statement signed by the President and Secretary of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) COOUTH, Obinna Aniagboso and Chidiebele Egolum, respectively, the association said the strike was suspended at its emergency meeting held on Monday, July 15 after noting Governor Willie Obiano’s request for the suspension of the strike.
The doctors had embarked on the indefinite industrial action on May 13, 2019, due to their claim that the state government failed to honour its agreement to implement full CONMESS for doctors and upgrade diagnostic facilities as befitting of a tertiary health centre.
ARD in its statement claimed that there was consensus by all concerned that the strike was justifiable hence the need to address the issues in the matter.
The statement reads in part: “That there has been a consensus by all concerned parties that the resident doctors’ struggle is just and therefore the need to address their challenges in order to retain trained, experienced personnel and improve the standard of clinical services in COOUTH.
“We noted the request of His Excellency for ARD to suspend its strike in order to give the government a little time to complete the ongoing personnel audit and financial analysis.
“We also took cognisance of the resolution of the NMA leadership and elders meeting which advised ARD to suspend the strike for one month along with the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN).
“We considered the plight of our teeming patients who have become stranded and deprived of quality care throughout our protracted industrial action.
“We also accepted the concessions made by management on internal issues bordering on conditions of service and welfare, remuneration, and intend to cooperate to ensure its full implementation.
“We strongly condemn the infusion of personal interest into this struggle by some elements and the attempt to use ARD to achieve inordinate personal ambitions. We maintain that ARD has never advocated the removal of the CMD, Dr Basil Nwankwo.
“Considering the foregoing, the general congress passed a resolution to suspend its industrial action for one month and to resume work on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 8am.
“We take this bold step in good faith with the expectation that the state government and management of COOUTH will not relent in the end until our agreed objectives are fully actualised.”