Medical doctors in Enugu State have said they would no longer embark on strike as the state governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, has met all their demands which included financial and welfare improvement, release of residency training fund, employment of more medical doctors and other health workers, stressing that the governor also went beyond their target through deliberate efforts to transform the hospital into a brand new, modern hospital.
This development was disclosed by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital (ESUTTH), Parklane, led by its President, Dr. Ofonere Chukwunonso, on Friday, at Enugu during a media briefing.
The ESUTTH Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Bethrand Ngwu, and other health workers in the hospital have also lauded the governor for his quick intervention which led to the release of funds and other support which had enabled the construction of some critical infrastructure and procurement of facilities in the hospital that led to the accreditation of some courses by the professional bodies involved.
Dr. Ofonere, who appreciated the governor for his intervention in the hospital, said medical doctors in the institution were glad that all their demands were fulfilled by the government, saying the gesture showed Governor Mbah was mindful of his promise to transform the healthcare sector through the right incentives, infrastructure and reforms.
“We want to thank the governor in a special way. We have received all the good news, including the approval and immediate release of fund for the medical residency training. We are not unaware of all that the governor is doing in Parklane Hospital. We are glad that ESUTTH is turning into a brand new hospital in this part of the Niger. It can only come from the governor. He has helped us achieve a lot in this hospital,” the NARD President added.
He further appreciated the governor for advancing their members to the level of consultancy, equipping the hospital, getting more course accredited, employing additional qualified medical personnel which would reduce their workload and increase the satisfaction of their patients.
According to him, with the welfare of medical doctors and other health workers catered for by the governor, the urge to leave the state hospitals for federal hospitals had been discouraged, adding that the brain drain syndrome of migrating overseas would reduce.
Speaking, the Secretary of NARD, Dr. Nnamani Ikemefuna, said that the right infrastructure already put in place by the governor over the pass months has made the hospital an established institution with a competitive standard in the country.
“Parklane is no more a transit institution where people come just to go to the next federal university teaching hospital. It is now a place where people envy and people wish to come and work. Today, people see ESUTTH as a hospital with the best accident and emergency care unit because of the proactive measures on ground. It couldn’t have been possible without the support of the governor,” he added.
On his part, the CMD explained that ESUTTH was able to get full accreditation for most of its courses because of the governor’s intervention,g noting that the hospital was optimistic of getting additional full accreditation in courses such as Ophthalmology since the required facilities had been purchased and installed through the help of the governor.
He said: “The governor graciously approved a new triage and released the fund without delay. The construction is going on, we started the construction this January, immediately after the Christmas celebrations, and we are hoping that in the next three months the triage will becomev operational. The triage will serve as emergency unit where health professionals attend to patients with critical cases with dispatch irrespective of whether you have money or not.
“As if that was not enough, we had backlog of payments to those who were employed few months to the end of last administration, 250 employees; nurses, security men, and orderlies: 150 nurses, 40 orderlies, 30 security men, and 30 porters. These people were employed, captured by the state, but were not paid. Before I came, they were five months down the lane. We quickly made a report to His Excellency and he saw reasons and approved the funds. Nobody is being owed a dime as I talk to you.”