14 September 2013

Nigeria: Resident Doctors Strike Grounds FMC, Owerri

Barely a week after the suspension of the nationwide strike embarked upon by medical workers, the Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri chapter proceeded on another indefinite strike to press home their demands of improved treatment from the hands of the present Medical Director, Dr. Angela Uwakwem who they accused of high-handedness, insensitivity and alleged mishandling of finances.

Disclosing to THISDAY during the peaceful protest carried out by the resident doctors to parts of Owerri, the Imo State capital yesterday, the President of the Association, Dr. Chinedu Agu said the staff of the federal medical centre, Owerri had greatly suffered under the administration of Uwakwem and called on the Federal Ministry of Health and President Goodluck Jonathan to save the health institution by sacking the present medical director.

Agu who expressed dismay over the high-handedness of the management of the institution to the detriment of the generality of the staff and people of the state, also decried a situation whereby the present medical director increased all fees paid by patients to such astronomical levels, thereby depriving patients of comfortably assessing the services of the institution. According to him, it was easier to access medical services in a private hospital than to pay the high fees being charged at FMC, Owerri, which is a federal medical institution.

, adding, "Imagine before a patient obtains a card he/she pays about N1,500 while deposit for operation ranges from N50,000 and above". Some of the placards carried by the protesters read "Mr. President please rescue us from this Idi-Amin woman", "Restore peace in FMC, Owerri", "We need change Now", "Health of Imo people is in jeopardy with the woman as MD", "We need an immediate change of MD at FMC, Owerri", "Save FMC,, Owerri from the hand of this tyrant woman", and "We have Loss of confidence of MD".

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