Welfare crisis: Anambra govt begs COOUTH doctors to shelve strike
By Olisemeka Obeche
The Anambra Government has begged members of the Medical and Dental Consultant Association (MDCAN) at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awkato shelve the planned industrial action as it was already working towards addressing their grievances.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in Anambra, Mr C-Don Adinuba, made the appeal on Tuesday in Awka while reacting to the recent threat by COOUTH doctors to commence indefinite strike from November 30 if the state government fails to address their demand for implementation of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS).
Dr ChukwudiOkani, Chairman of MDCAN, who made the decision of the association known said there would not be need for further deliberations or negotiations on the matter but that members would proceed on strike if their next pay did not reflect CONMESS by November 30.
However, Adinuba explained that the state government was determined to ensure that the doctors measure up with their contemporaries, while expressing regret that they had not had promotion for more than seven years of the existence of COOUTH.
According to the commissioner, Governor Willie Obiano had already set up a panel working toward final resolution of the issues affecting the hospital. He further disclosed that the report of panel set up to work out the doctors salary and conditions of service was ready and awaiting governor’s attention.
Adinuba appealed to MDCAN to exercise patience so that Governor Obiano, currently out of the country, could act on the report when he returns.
He explained: “On assumption, the doctors did not have Condition of Service but in spite that, government is trying to normalise the system, working out their Condition of Service which takes care of salary and promotions.I took part in the negotiation between government, management and the doctors; the truth is that there is nothing for the doctors to strike for.
“There is a report which has been submitted to government for governor for him to go through, things like that are not sent by e-mail.We are not happy that doctors have not received promotions in the last eight years, we are addressing that, so they should be patient with government,“ he said.