From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Activities at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) have been paralysed following protest by over 100 interns over non-payment of six months of salaries.
The protesters are made up of house officers (doctors), scientists, medical lab scientists, pharmacists, dental therapists, radiologists and physiotherapists.
The protesters, who chanted solidarity songs, matched round the hospital premises and carried placard with various inscription including “ our landlords are on out necks, pay us our six months salaries”, “we cannot even see where to borrow again, please buy us”, and “a hungry clinician can make a wrong diagnosis, please pay us so we don’t endanger our patients”.
The interns are trained medical professionals in various fields who undertake another one year of practical training before they are qualified to take up a full employment.
Investigations showed that they are paid a monthly salary ranging between N120, 000 and N150, 000 depending on the revenues that accrue to the hospital.
At UCTH, the medical interns and house officers lamented that they have worked for six months without pay, but disclosed that the management rather pays them N18, 000 monthly as allowance.
According to some of them, the hospital has been collecting their allocations from the Federal Government every month and wondered why they can’t pay them.
The CMD, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme, told journalists that the problem is a national one.
He said the management has written to federal governemnt’ adding that the authorities would soon resolve the problem of arrears.