JOHESU Protests ‘Illegal’ Salary Deduction In FMC Owerri

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The Joint Health Sector Union Workers (JOHESU) at the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Owerri has accused the management of illegal deduction of September salary without any directive from the Federal Government.

The health workers disclosed this during a protest carried out within the hospital premises on Tuesday, November 21.

The workers were seen carrying placards with various inscription insisting that the management of the institution should do the needful. They also accused the management of delay in the release of the senior staff promotion list, high-handedness and victimization of staff.

READ ALSO: FG Urges JOHESU Not To Embark On Strike

The Public Relations Officer of the Union, Solomon Nwafuru said the management should regularise their salaries for peace and harmony to reign in the centre.

All efforts to get the management to respond to the allegations proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer, Jesinta Achonu said the management is not ready to speak on the matter, until further notice.

FMC Owerri Resident Doctors Threaten Indefinite Strike

Resident Doctors, FMC Owerri, StrikeResident doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri, Imo State have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike in no distant time.

The medics say they would commence the industrial action if the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health fails to meet their demands which have continued to linger for a long period of time.

The President of Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital, Dr. Victor Dike, gave the warning on Friday on behalf of his colleagues in the Imo State capital, south-east Nigeria.

He claimed members of the association were being owed their December 2015 salaries and were yet to be paid their arrears accruing between five to 15 months.

The resident doctors lamented that they have been short-changed and marginalised in their remuneration, saying it only affected the chapter of the association in Nigeria.

He urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, dissolve the present interim management committee of the institution.

The medics appealed for the appointment of a permanent Managing Director for the centre, stressing that the present interim management committee have limited powers to carry out some constitutional functions.

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.

FMC Owerri Staff Call For Removal Of Medical Director

FMCThe 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.

The protesting staff who gathered under 3 different unions; National Union of Allied and Health Professionals, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria and National Association Of Nigeria Nurses And Midwives, FMC chapter, alleged that the personnel funds released by the Accountant-General of the Federation in 2014 for the 2013/2014 promotion arrears meant for workers’ welfare was vired into capital projects in the centre knowing fully well that virement is a serious offence in the Nigerian constitution.

They also accused her of victimizing staff who did not support her proposal of privatizing some departments and units in the centre.

While explaining to newsmen the cause of their grievances, the Chairman of the FMC chapter of the National Union of Allied and Health Professional, Clifford Ezeukwu, accused the Medical Director of financial misappropriation, victimization, high-handedness and non-payment of staff promotional arrears which has been approved by the federal government.

He went further to allege that through a dubious means, the Medical Director vired the promotional arrears of staff into capital projects which is an offence under the law. She was also accused of high-handedness, victimization and employment racketeering.

It was not the first or second time staff of Federal Medical Centre Owerri would be protesting against their management. To paint a more serious scenario this time, they were all clad in black attire.

Before ending-up their protest at the hospital premises, they walked the streets of Owerri causing heavy traffic gridlock, chanting songs and showing off red cards and whistles connoting ‘time up’ for the Medical Director.

The protesters called on the outgoing government of President Goodluck Jonathan and the incoming president, General Muhammadu Buhari to probe the activities of the Medical Director.

They also advised that she resigns her job honourably, adding that as at time of the protest, members of the various unions have embarked on an indefinite strike until the federal government intervenes in the matter.

The Medical Director, Dr Angela Uwakwem, was not available to respond to the allegations, having being told that she was in a board meeting. The Acting Board Chairman of FMC Owerri, Senator Onyeka Okoroafor, who was about joining the board meeting, addressed the protesters on behalf of the management.

He said that a committee would be set up to look into all the allegations levelled against the Medical Director saying no matter the circumstance, no action will be taken unilaterally without the consent of the union.

However, for peace to reign on the centre, he urged the workers to go back to their duty posts as all matters would be addressed accordingly.