The striking resident doctors of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, have turned down the minimum wage offer presented to them by the visitor to the university, Governor Willie Obiano, insisting on continuing with the indefinite strike action they embarked upon on May 13, 2019.
According to President of the association, Dr Obinna Aniagboso, at a congress meeting held in Awka on Wednesday, the governor offered to pay them the newly approved minimum wage which would amount to N12,000 increment to all Anambra State civil servants as soon as the national guidelines were released.
Aniagboso, who stated that the governor during the meeting with him expressed dissatisfaction with the poor payment of salaries, as well as admitted that it was due to low Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), said Obiano promised to revisit resident doctors’ salaries issue in one year time when IGR should have improved.
Blueprint learnt that Governor Obiano’s alleged commend sparked mixed reactions from visibly angry members of the congress when their leaders briefed them, as they wondered why COOUTH doctors should be neglected for long.
The congress insisted on full payment of their salary from April 2019 as agreed to by government representatives, saying that they would no longer continue receiving 40% of their salary as they were languishing in penury with no progress in their residency training.
The resident doctors, while passing a unanimous resolution to continue with their strike till Gov. Obiano respond accordingly, condemned what they described as devious tactics and insincerity of the hospital management..
It would be recalled that Association of Resident doctor of COOUTH last week embarked on an indefinite strike action following the failure of the State Government to honour the agreement it signed with the association on 17th January, 2019 during their warning strike.
Effort made to contact the state commissioner for health as at the time of filing this report proved abortive as his phone number available to our reporter did not connect as at press time.