Why doctors are on warning strike – MDCAN COOUTH

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The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria of Chukwueme-ka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital branch, has said that doctors embarked on a warning strike to demand improved working condition.

Dr Chukwudi Okani, Chairman of MDCAN, COOUTH, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Tuesday that the industrial action would last for seven days

Okani said that no fewer than 59 full-time, honorary and part-time medical consultants who work at the teaching hospital were among those who temporarily withdrew their services.

He said their demands were in line with that of the Association of Resident Doctors at the institution who commenced an indefinite strike on May 13.

Okani said the seven days warning strike would end on June 10 but added that the Consultants would commence indefinite strike after 21 days with effect from June 21 if their demands were not met.

The chairman said they were worried that three weeks after the ARD went on strike, there had not been noticeable signs that the government was willing to address the issues that resulted in the industrial action.

“We have been working in a very precarious situation at COOUTH, where we virtually have a collapsed system, from simple diagnostic facilities to workers welfare which had been neglected.

“Due to the working conditions here, qualified doctors don’t come here to practice and those who agree to come, see COOUTH as a stop-gap where they can stay and look for something better, those of us here are mainly those who have their families here.

“Resident doctors went on strike since three weeks ago and instead of seeing moves and commitment by the government to address the issue, what we are seeing are threats to sack to those who joined the strike.

“Again, the challenges here affects everybody, not just the resident doctors, so we are using this warning strike to further draw the attention of the government to those demands.

“If nothing happens after 21 days, we shall embark on indefinite strike so that they can sack all of us,” he said.

He regretted the near shutdown of medical services at the teaching hospital occasioned by the strike, noting that it was avoidable but was not well managed.

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