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Skipping Allowance: UCH Resident Doctors to Petition EFCC, ICPC

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By Adeola Oladele

Resident doctors in University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan have resolved to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) over the alleged atrocities of the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Temitope Alonge.

The decision was taken during the week at a meeting of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), UCH chapter in Ibadan.

The doctors have been protesting against the non-payment of their skipping allowance, contrary to the Federal Government’s directive.

WESTERN POST learnt that the doctors had alleged the diversion of the fund meant for the payment of the skipping allowance.

They alleged the money was used to pay non-resident doctors the same skipping allowance which the CMD allegedly claimed he was waiting for directive from Abuja.

On this matter, letters and memos from the Federal Ministry of Health directing that the skipping allowance should be paid have been flying around in the hospital.

One of the memos dated June 17, 2015 from the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos Chapter to the Medical Director Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba titled “Issue of Skipping” stated that “At the State Executive Council Meeting of the NMA Lagos on June 16, 2015 at the Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, the issue of non-payment and accrued arrears of skipping by some institutions was exhaustively debated” and some observations were made.

The memo said among other things that:  “All erring Chief Medical Directors have therefore betrayed the office that was bethrothed to them in trust, using same powers against the interest of doctors thereby breaching the Hippocratic oaths and deliberately undermining the NMA.”

Meanwhile, the resident doctors in UCH have alleged that the CMD asked them to come and swear to an oath of secrecy that information within the hospital would not be revealed to anybody or leaked to the public.

They also alleged that the money meant for their skipping allowance was misappropriated and used to pay the same skipping allowance to non-resident doctors.

Meanwhile, resident doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Lagos had on Thursday resumed work after three days warning strike. They, however, insisted that they would begin total strike on June 29.

The doctors, under the aegis of ARD, had on Monday embarked on the strike, which ended on Wednesday.

The strike was allegedly held to protest against the non-payment of their skipping allowance contrary to the Federal Government’s directive.

Commenting, Dr Ramon Moronkola, President of the association, said the doctors had given management a seven-day ultimatum on June 8 to implement the payment of skipping.

According to him, the management, however, refused to address this issue within the period of the ultimatum.

“That was why we went on three days warning strike which ended on Wednesday.

“We are now set for total strike on June 29, if the management still refuses to address our demands.

“We hope that the few days remaining will further serve as a window of opportunity for productive dialogue with management to avert total strike.

“We are still appealing to the management and also asking Nigerians to prevail on the hospital management to pay us our allowance and May salary to avert the strike,” Moronkola said.

In his reaction, Professor Chris Bode, LUTH Acting Chief Medical Director, said the management had told the doctors that payment of such money was not within the capacity of any teaching hospital.

“I do not have about N50 million to pay resident doctors monthly.

“Strike is not the solution to these challenges as lives of innocent people are at stake. It will not solve the problems.

“ARD should not disrupt services in this institution.

“Those that do not want to work can go, but they should please allow those that want to work to work,’’ he said.

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