Abia NMA bemoans poor funding of health sector

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The members of the Abia State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have frowned at the poor state of health facilities in the state and poor funding of secondary and tertiary health sector in the state.

The association made their observations known after their general meeting held in Umuahia, the state capital, saying that there is need for the state government to take urgent steps to improve on the sector.

The association, in a communique signed by its chairman Dr. Mrs Iwuoha E. C, and secretary Dr. Umenwa Joachin, noted that the state has abundant quality and dedicated manpower to turn around the situation in the health sector.

They observed with dismay the precarious state of members of the association working at the Hospital Management Board (HMB), and Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH).

The communique said, “We note with dismay that doctors in ABSUTH are owed arrears of salaries for ten months i.e. February to November, 2018, while doctors in HMB are owed arrears of salaries for eight months and experienced arbitrary slash in their salaries for over 3 months”.

They disagreed with the Commissioner for Finance, Obinna Oriaku for boldly saying that the state government is not owing workers of ABSUTH workers ten months’ salary.

The association recalled with pains that the Oriaku had claimed that the government only gives ABSUTH subvention, “Whereas he is aware that the subvention is based on the salary wage-bill of the hospital and has not been paid for 10 months”.

They noted that ABSUTH has been in existence for over 20 years and has been maintained by successive governments recognizing its indispensability in multi-disciplinary healthcare, health research, undergraduate and postgraduate medical manpower development.

The association after making their observation advised that Abia State government should as a matter of urgency clear all outstanding salary arrears owed to workers in these institutions before the end of December, 2018.

They called on the Commissioner of Finance to withdraw his false statement and desist from this deliberate act of misinforming the public thereby adding more pain to the aggrieved workers.

Their observation reads, “That the association may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector in the state if this untold hardship being inflicted on our members persists”.

“That all candidates for the various political offices in the state should endeavor to maintain the calm political atmosphere presently existing and make public their agenda for the Health Sector in preparation for the 2019 elections”.

They used the forum to appreciate all her members especially those whom despite being owed arrears of salaries have continued to give healthcare to the people of Abia State.

The Abia NMA also recalled that the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu in one of his meetings with some aggrieved workers promised to offset the arrears of salary of state workers before December and called on him to keep to his promise.

They said that December is now with them and they and other workers in the state who are suffering the same fate with them have not seen any alert on their phones, stressing that they should be paid before their die.

Culled from here

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