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The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Parklane, has said that at least four medical doctors leave the hospital every month for greener pastures.

The President of ARD in ESUTH, Dr Chukwunonso Ofonere, disclosed this in an interview in Enugu on Thursday.


Ofonere said that the demand for the replacement of the doctors on a one-to-one basis was part of the agitations behind their current nationwide strike, which entered its ninth day on Thursday.

He said that the number of doctors that left the facility had caused a “serious shortfall” in manpower in the hospital.

He said, “A minimum of four of our colleagues leave every month and we are asking for a one-to-one replacement of the many doctors that have left the hospital for some years now.”

He said that the body had continued to dialogue with the State Government on the need for the one-to-one replacement for over five years to no avail.

The state ARD boss said: “The demand is for the improvement of healthcare delivery in the overall interest of the citizenry.

“This situation has led to the doctors in ESUTH being over overworked daily.

“And, at times, one doctor works in a medical active department for close to 12 hours, especially weekends.

“Doctors come to work in the morning and stay late in the evening.

“Shifts are irregular and some doctors cover close to two shifts due to the lack of replacement and insufficient manpower.”

Ofonere regretted that the unhealthy situation had adversely affected the quality of healthcare delivery due to the depletion in the number of doctors vis-a-vis the ever-growing patients’ size.

He said that the dangerous dimension to the challenge was the continuous attack on doctors in the hospital by angry patient’s relations.

“Often, our colleagues are yelled at, harassed, intimidated and physically assaulted by relations of patients, who feel they were not getting adequate and personal attention, especially when the sickness gets worse.

“We have recorded situations, where colleagues were stabbed with sharp objects by relatives, while others were threatened with dangerous weapons.

“A hospital is not a war zone or place for violence due to its sensitive nature and condition of various patients within it,” Ofonere said.

He opined that replacing the doctors that exited from the system would help to ensure adequate manpower to give quality attention to patients and also protect the doctors from public resentment.

He also said that with the current hyperinflation in the country, the doctors were asking for a 200 per cent salary increment “to be at par with the 2014 Consolidated Medical Salary Structure”, being enjoyed by their counterparts in federal health institutions.

“This will also help to check the brain drain syndrome among doctors,” Ofonere said.

He described the N5,000 monthly hazard allowance to doctors in the hospital as an insult

.“Our counterparts in federal health institutions collect a minimum of N35,000 monthly.”

He asked, “Looking at it critically, how much can we be paid to cover the clinic and pathological hazards doctors are exposed to in the course of their daily duty?”

He regretted that the State Government had yet to pay the Medical Resident Training Fund, which was agreed to help doctors update their knowledge and advancement.

“Our counterparts in federal health institutions have been enjoying the benefit of the fund but we are still left behind,” Ofonere further said.

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