ESUT doctors embark on strike, as Ugwuanyi pays April Salary, COVID-19 allowance

From Maurice Okafor,Enugu

Association of Resident Doctors, ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane Enugu has announced indefinite strike pending fulfillment of their agreement with Enugu state government.

Their strike action commenced a day after Governor Ugwuanyi announced the payment of April salary to all civil servants in the state and additional 25% to all health workers in Enugu state.

The Association of ESUT Resident Doctors made their indefinite strike action known in an official letter sent to the Chief Medical Director, ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, dated April 24th, 2020 and signed by the president of the association, Doctor Chima Edoga and General Secretary, Doctor Chukwunonso Ofonere.

In their letter titled, “Notice of Resumption Of Suspended Indefinite Withdrawal Of Services By The Association Of Resident Doctors, ESUT-TH Parklane”, The Doctors stressed that their action could have been avoided if Enugu state government kept to the written approval and numerous re-assurances given to the Association.

The ESUTH doctors claimed they have become endangered species in the face of very deadly diseases such as Lassa fever virus and covid19, they should be promptly given their due.

According to the association, the Doctors were intially given verbal assurances that a written approval will be fully implemented in April, 2020 but were shocked that Enugu state government reneged on the approval following payment of April 2020 salaries.

By the strike action,ARD ESUTH obviously ignored the payment of 25% ,COVID-19 allowance to health workers in the state in addition to the payment of April salary to all Civil servants in the state.

The State Government said payment of the salaries to all the civil servants was in furtherance of their commitment to contain Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the state as well as cushion the effect of the lockdown on the lives of the citizens.

The government also paid the COVID-19 Allowance for all health workers in the state, which represents 25% of their basic salaries as recently approved by the State Executive Council (EXCO), as incentive.

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