The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), South-East Caucus, has alleged that members in some of the states, were being owed between six and 15 months salary arrears.
Dr. Dubem Awachie and Dr. Alexander Nwosu, Leader and Deputy Leader of the caucus comprising 11 tertiary healthcare institutions, made this known in a statement jointly signed on Thursday in Awka.
The doctors said that states in the zone had not implemented the revised Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) in full.
According to NARD, the ongoing national strike embarked upon on June 15 would not have started if the sector got the required attention.
He noted that adequate diagnostic equipment and protection of members were major challenges.
The caucus expressed worry that some of their colleagues were having difficulties running their residency programmes because some departments in the healthcare institutions lacked accreditation.
The association urged the South-East states to domesticate the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTI).
The medical practitioners noted that the situation of the healthcare facilities in the Southeast (both Federal and state owned) was worrisome as there was high inadequacy of healthcare infrastructure and decay of the existing ones.
“That our members in ABSUT and Aba are being owed salary arrears of 15 months is immoral, just as our colleagues in IMSUTH Orlu, are being owed six months arrears.
“Worse still is that they are being owed 40 months arrears of 30 per cent deductions from their salaries.
“The situation in the four State Tertiary Health Institutions is unacceptable. These are the institutions charged to train specialists in different medical specialties/subspecialties for the teeming Southeast populace.
“None of the governments of Abia, Anambra, Imo and Enugu where these institutions reside, have been able to domesticate or implement the MRTA with the requisite funding.
“They include Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka, Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu, and Enugu state University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital Parklane.
“These institutions lack accreditation for MRT in some departments and subspecialties, our members have stagnated promotions, and are being owed arrears of update and exam fees, as well as their dissertation stipends.
“NARD members in these institutions are being paid peanuts, as none of the state governments where these institutions reside has implemented the revised CONMESS salary scale, with proper placement as is being done.”
NARD-SE said the state governments in the zone should be sensitive to the plights of the health workers and address it as to enable them manage the current national health emergency and beyond.
“This industrial action by NARD is primarily to ensure provision of adequate materials for healthcare workers during and beyond this pandemic, provide for robust training of specialists in various fields of medicine.
“Unhindered access to good healthcare services is the right of every Nigerian and the responsibility of the Government, enough of government and her agencies paying lip service. The rot must stop.
“We plead with the government at all levels and well meaning Nigerians in the South-East and beyond to intervene and help turn around the tide, to salvage our health sector.
“This insensitivity of government at different levels has lingered for too long and that has been the reason for the frequent industrial frictions witnessed all over the country and especially the South East over years.
“There is need for more Isolation centers, Personal Protection Equipments, Surgical Face masks, N-95 Face masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers and other disinfectants”.