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Top IMSUTH officials desert offices as workers protest

Top officials of the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu, have kept away from their offices since the workers began their peaceful protest over delays and cuts in their salaries, as well as poor working conditions.
Christian Voice checks on Thursday revealed that none of the officials was on seat as the workers’ protest entered its 11th day.
A staff member said that the officials were evading any ugly incidents as the protests were targeted at the top management of the premier hospital in the state.
The protest, planned by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the unions in the institution, would last for 21 days after which they will shut down the hospital completely if nothing is done.
The workers, who wore black attires, said that for more than two years they have been receiving only 70 per of their salaries after several delays that led to the death of some staff due to hardship.
They chanted songs and displayed placards reading “IMSUTH mumu done do”, “one hundred (100) percent or nothing”, among others.
They demanded that the management should immediately restore 100 percent payment of outstanding salaries from March 2017 and the payment of 30 percent backlog of salary arrears deducted from January 2016.
The staff accused the management, led by the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Frederick Anolue, of poor performance and funds misappropriation which, the said, had stalled the renovation of dilapidated infrastructure and the replacement of obsolete equipment in the hospital.
They lamented the horrible state of the access road to the hospital which tells on their internally generated revenue.
Speaking to newsmen, the JAC chairman, Dr. Bright Chukwunta, said that the slash in, and non-pay of, salaries had led to the death of four of his colleagues.
He said that the workers had lost confidence in the management, adding that doctors and nurses conduct deliveries using torchlights.
Reacting, the CMD, Dr. Anoluo, admitted that the staff are being owned three months and had been paying 70 percent for some time but added that the 70 percent was a government policy while the three months salary arrears accumulated when resident doctors went on strike and government adopted the “non-work-no-salary approach.
He appealed to workers to be patient while the management resolves the issue with government.
“Going on strike won’t help the matter, rather, it will affect our means of generating income, which we use to offset some of our bills.  Our subvention is 70 percent and not 100 percent, so we work hard to meet up with the operational and administrative standards”, he said.
Medical students fear that if government does not step in to resolve the issues and fix the dilapidated infrastructure, it might affect accreditation of the hospital which is already defective and so hamper their early qualification.

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