The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Imo State branch is battling to save the jobs of eight of its members sacked recently by a new management at the Imo Specialist Hospital, Umuguma, New Owerri.
NMA chairman in the state, Dr Bartty Okorochukwu told Christian Voice that the Association was talking to the management at the hospital and that they were favourably disposed to reinstate the sacked doctors.
Anxiety and fear had gripped staff of the state’s leading medical institution following the sudden sack of the doctors, even as resident doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri went on strike, crippling activities at the centre.
The sacked Imo Specialist Hospital doctors were said to have been victimized for participating in a protest march mainly by nurses over the ceding of the management of the hospital to a private medical practitioner in the state.
However, the new management, headed by Dr. S.O. Amaechi, had insisted that the doctors were insubordinate, having ignored a query issued to them for some offences.
The doctors, however, said that the query did not emanate from the right source and that the new management was only throwing its weight around to make a point.
Our reporter gathered that as at last week when the doctors were kicked out, arrangements were being made to appoint new ones who would take their places.
Crisis engulfed the former General Hospital, Owerri which was re-named by the present administration in the state, following speculations that the hospital had been leased to a private medical practitioner in the state.
Addressing the staff earlier, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr S.O. Amaechi, denied a lease arrangement and told them that he had only come to improve the service in the hospital.
Efforts to get Dr. Amaechi to speak on the issue proved abortive.
On the matter between resident doctors and FMC authorities, the NMA boss in the State, Dr Okorochukwu, also expressed optimism that the doctors would soon call off their strike which had lasted more than 11 days.
The doctors were protesting a letter asking some of them to withdraw their services from the hospital on the expiration of their postings.
But the resident doctors argued that their postings were not effected on the date indicated in their latter and so, demanded more time.
Dr Okorochukwu said that the strike had an adverse effect on healthcare in the state as only consultants were attending to the numerous patients.
Our reporter who visited the hospital observed rowdy scenes as patients and their relatives scramble for the attention of the few consultants available.
The strike also affected the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu where patients are made to take treatment under uncomfortable conditions due to lack of bed space.
The NMA Chairman observed that healthcare in Imo State had not reached its optimum but was optimistic that the situation would improve given the plans of the present administration.
Knights blast visionless leaders
Lack of vision among Nigerian leaders has been blamed for the woes of Nigerian which can be addressed only when the country is blessed with leaders who dream big and actulise their dreams by being focused.
This is the stand of Knights and Ladies of St. Christopher of the Anglican diocese of Owerri through a communiqué issued after their 2012 conference held at St. Mary Magadalene (Ang) Cathedral, Oguta.
In the conference with the theme: “the place of the Christian Knights in the provision of effective leadership in today’s church”, the Knights also identified indiscipline among Nigerian leaders as being responsible for the inequalities in the distribution of the nation’s resources which widens the gap between the rich and the poor in the society.
The seven-point communiqué then advised leadership in the society and the church to be courageous and responsive to be able to handle issues and to be wary of sychophants.
The convention called on the federal government to do all in her power to check Boko-Haram terrorists before their activities set the country ablaze as the delegates equally frowned at the rate of kidnappings and killings in the land.