Six doctors have been sacked from Abia State University Hospital for allegedly abandoning their work after collecting salaries.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Shedrack Offiah, disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mr Offiah said the hospital management took the decision in order to discourage the doctors from using official time to work in their private hospitals.
He said he sacked the six doctors recently to discourage absentee staff members “who do not work but collect salaries”, adding that such were ghost workers and should be treated as such.
He said that some doctors who had left the institution still come to the school to collect salaries, noting that he would not allow such to happen again.
“It is not just punishment. I have sacked six of them. You will not hear it because I don’t make noise.
“In June, we paid three months that they did not work for and I am taking record.
“Anybody that refuses to come to work from August will not be paid. We will only pay salaries to people who are coming to work.
“If we look at you and find out that you are among the people that just put your name here and you are somewhere, we will sack you,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nnamdi Erondu, a medical doctor and chairman, National Association of Resident Doctors’ (NARD) in the teaching hospital, said the body was only interested in finding lasting solutions to the problems of the hospital, and not to fight the management.
He said the workers who were owed salaries deserved to be paid and urged the government to seek ways of ending the institution’s endless crises.
He said one of the ways to end the strike was to pay the salaries of workers to a reasonable extent and then fund the upgrade of the institution’s equipment and service-delivery capacity.
He urged the government and the hospital management to consult NARD members to show them development models of teaching hospitals in other states which have improved their functionality.
He said the Abia State government’s “inability to provide money for the institution’s accreditation was opening it up for shutdown by supervisory bodies”.
The resident doctors recently threatened to shut down the teaching hospital because of the state government’s inability to pay its workers.
Mr Erondu said the institution’s accreditation lapsed over six months ago because Governor Okezie Ikpeazu did not fulfil his promise to give N80 million for the accreditation.
“The governor promised to look into the medical residency training programme and to start financing the programme.
“He further promised to release N80 million for the accreditation of the departments in the medical school, but till date he has not honoured any of those his promises,” he said.