The industrial strike embarked upon by resident doctors at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria continued last weekend as the doctors said they would not resume work until a positive response emerges from the management of the hospital.

The doctors had on June 1, 2015 embarked on strike over what they described as incomplete payment of their salaries and illegal sack of 44 doctors by the hospital’s management.

The president of the Association of Resident Doctors, ABUTH chapter, Dr. Tuko Moses told our reporter that since the beginning of this year, no resident doctor in Shika had been paid his full salary. Twelve months ago, Moses, disclosed, the ABUTH management “illegally sacked 44 resident doctors and the management has refused to reinstate them despite proven illegality.”

He also alleged that ABUTH ranks low among its peers in the standard of training and facilities for patients’ management, while overall staff welfare is also at its lowest level. “In fact, resident doctors in the hospital are presently owed many months of training allowances. Generally, from the national to the local front, we feel there is an act of sabotage by some appointees of government,” he said.

He said federal teaching hospitals in Sokoto, Plateau, Kano, Katsina, Oyo, Lagos, Gombe and Enugu, among others, pay their doctors’ salaries in full. “Many states have migrated their staff to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). What is required under IPPIS is to send the names and account numbers of all staffers to the budget office, which will pay directly to the staffers’ account, but our hospital has deliberately refused to migrate to IPPIS.

“In fact, our hospital has been evading migration to IPPIS even when they were supposed to have migrated in January, because if they move, they will no longer control the money or salaries of staff. All doctors who are under the IPPIS in other states don’t have any problem with their salaries, but we are disadvantaged because our money comes to Shika before the management makes payment locally,” he lamented.

Although, the Chief Medical Director of ABUTH, Professor Lawal Khalid told our reporter that the money paid by government was less than the required sum needed to pay the doctors’ allowances 100 per cent, Dr. Moses insisted that findings by them revealed that the federal government has provided the money for complete payment of their salaries and allowances.

“Presently, we are paying between 58-60 per cent of the allowance,” the ABUTH CMD, and maintained that only 19 doctors and not 44 were disengaged from residency training “because they had overstayed their training.”

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