Medical doctors working in Abia State Government owned hospitals have expressed worries over the poor state of infrastructure in the hospitals coupled with exposure of workers to dangers of coronavirus and other diseases.
The doctors in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria decried government’s attitude and lack of concern to their welfare as they are owed for 13 months.
Dr Bamachy Onyemachi, the Medical Director, Okpuala Ngwa General Hospital in Isiala Ngwa North, said that the workers work with empty stomach.
He said that Abia government had also not taken their safety serious especially under the coronavirus infection period.
He said only one person was given COVID-19 training in his hospital, and that the hospital received only five masks and five bottles of sanitisers but no hazard kits were given to them.
He said the hospital which serves Isiala Ngwa North and South LGAs, attends to about 150 to 200 patients monthly, but has only three doctors, 10 nurses, one pharmacist, two ophthalmologists and two laboratory scientists.
Dr Samuel Ukoh, the Medical Director, Aba General Hospital, also lamented the backlog of salaries owed workers.
“They slashed our salaries, they paid some workers and left some; there is no operational vehicle.
“Even during the COVID-19 lockdown, we were all on duty and many of our workers that don’t have vehicles trekked to work.
“Another challenge facing us is that they have not been implementing our Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), our male surgical ward, old maternity ward are in a dilapidated state.
“We do not have an X-ray machine, no chemistry machines and no hematology analyzers, no Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and no COVID-19 trainings for our staff, it is that bad,” he said.
Ukoh said that if the government should properly equip Aba General Hospital, it will improve the lives of residents.
Dr Chima Okeugo, Medical Director, Cottage Hospital, World Bank Housing Estate, Abayi Aba, said his hospital functions with equipment mostly donated to it by non-governmental organisations.
Okeugo, who is the Chairman, National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP), Abia Chapter, however said that some issues the government failed to attend to were not healthy for service delivery in the health sector.
He said that backlog of salary arrears owed workers was hampering progress and urged the government to pay the salaries and other benefits.
When contacted, the Abia Health Commissioner, Dr Joe Osuji asked for a repeat call after two hours to enable him respond.
However, after the expiration of two hours, he did not pick the calls put through to him.
Edited By: Obike Ukoh (NAN)
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