Owerri FMC Crisis: Patients Call For Government’s Intervention

OwerriHelpless patients at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri the Imo State capital, have called on appropriate authorities and stakeholders to intervene in the lingering crisis between the staff and management of the medical centre.

The patients have been at the receiving end since medical services have been crippled in the hospital, because medical attention given to them has been stopped.

Channels TV correspondent, who visited the hospital, reported that most of the offices were under lock and key with all the wards deserted. He said that some patients who were still in the wards were already on their way out of the hospital as a result of no attention given to them anymore.

The staff of the medical centre had earlier called on the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to beam his searchlight on the recent activities affecting the staff and patients of the health institution.

They accused the board and management of the health institution of allegedly concluding plans to privatize and commercialise some key departments in the institution.

The feud between the two parties took a new dimension when hundreds of staff of the medical centre took to the streets of Owerri, carrying placards with various derogatory inscriptions calling for the removal of their Medical Director, Dr Angela Uwakem, whom they accused of financial misappropriation, high-handedness and victimization.

In a bid to ensure peace and find a lasting solution to this rift between the management and staff, the FMC board suspended plans by the management to go further with the privatisation plans and reversed the query letters given to staff in the course of the feud.

The board then called on the staff to return to their normal duties and assured them that every decision taken by the board would always be in the best interest of the staff.

The protesting workers have, however, maintained their stance that the Medical Director must be removed from office, stating that until she is removed, they would not return to their duty post.

FMC Owerri is one of the most functional hospitals in Imo State and the lingering crisis in the hospital has crippled the health sector in the state. It is therefore expected that the appropriate authorities would intervene for the good of the helpless patients.

FMC Owerri Board Reverses Privatisation Plans, Sues For Peace

FMCThe Board of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri has suspended plans by the management to go further with the plans of  privatizing some departments and units in the health facility.

In a bid to ensure that peace reigns and find a lasting solution to the rift between the management and staff, the FMC board had also reversed the query letters given to staff in the course of the feud between the management and staff of the centre.

In an interview with journalists after a board meeting in the FMC premises in Owerri, the Imo State capital, South-east Nigeria, the acting FMC Board Chairman, Sen Onyeka Okoroafor, revealed that the board has decided to drop the proposal and plans to privatise, as it was one of the major cause of the crisis brewing in the centre.

On query of members, the board also disclosed that the decision has been reversed and staff can continue their normal duties without any interference.

He maintained that the issue of promotion arrears is not only peculiar to FMC Owerri, noting that all Federal Medical Centres in the country are affected and can only be addressed by the Federal Government.

The acting Chairman further dismissed the petition levelled against the FMC Owerri Medical Director, Dr Angela Uwakwem, calling for her removal on allegations of financial misappropriation, noting that the allegations are not genuine enough to warrant her dismissal.

Senator Okoroafor stated that they do not have the power to fire or hire, adding that the only the Federal Government reserves the right to deliberate on such issues.

The board, however, called on the staff to return to their normal duties and assured them that every decision taken by the board would always be in the best interest of the staff.

In the meantime, the protesting workers have maintained their stand that the Medical Director must be removed from office on allegations of financial misappropriation, high-handedness and victimization, positing that until she is removed, they would not return to their duty post.

The feud between the management and staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri took a new dimension on Friday when hundreds of staff of the medical centre took to the streets of Owerri the Imo State capital.

Carrying placards with various derogatory inscriptions calling for the removal of their Medical Director, Dr Angela Uwakem, they alleged financial misappropriation and virement, high-handedness and victimization.

Resident doctors in Owerri strike over sacked doctors

The Association of Residents Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, on Thursday resumed an indefinite strike following the dismissal of 27 resident doctors by the management of the medical centre.

Briefing journalists in Owerri, the Imo state capital, the president of the association, Chidi Obiesi, described as unjust and inhuman, the alleged neglect of resident doctors in FMC by the clinic’s management. He also alleged that the processes that led to the sack of the doctors did not follow due process.

He said that the management of the health institution in April 2011 sacked 27 of their members over claims that the resident training programme of the affected doctors was long overdue.

The had earlier embarked a three day working strike, after much consultation and dialogue which yielded no result, to retract these sack letters and constitute a proper committee to look into the matter appropriately.

But according to Dr Obiesi, the management went ahead to issue a fresh sack letter to the doctors.

Dr Obiesi noted that the association has made a resolution that if the management does not retract the letters and constitute a proper committee which will include their members, they will remain on strike indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Director Administration of the FMC, Mr Chimezie Nwogu, has denied the allegations levelled against the hospital’s management, stating the allegations lacked merit.

He noted that the doctors that were issued letters of dismissal after wide consultations and due process.

He stated that the six years resident training programme for these doctors have far expired because majority of them have exceeded their six years resident training programme and still haven’t passed the first stage examination programme which is a two part programme of three years each.