Doctors in residence serve government of Enugu has been issued a 14-day deadline to hire more doctors.

"Resident Doctors Sound Alarm 14-Day Ultimatum to Enugu State Government for Urgent Healthcare Reforms"

The Association of Resident Doctors of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital (ESUTH) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Enugu State Government to employ more doctors and ensure security.

This is contained in a communiqué issued on Saturday after the end of the emergency general meeting of the association at ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu, held on Friday, November 17, 2023.

At the heart of the residents’ concerns is the acute shortage of medical professionals, a critical issue that has significantly strained the healthcare delivery system in Enugu State. The increasing demand for healthcare services, coupled with a shortage of doctors, has created a situation where the existing medical staff is stretched to their limits. The 14-day ultimatum underscores the urgency of addressing this manpower deficit to ensure the provision of timely and adequate healthcare to the residents of Enugu.

In addition to the call for increased staffing, the resident doctors are also highlighting concerns about security within healthcare facilities. Hospitals should be sanctuaries of healing, but recent incidents of violence against healthcare workers have raised alarm bells. The ultimatum serves as a stern warning to the government to take immediate action to fortify security measures within medical institutions, creating an environment where healthcare professionals can work without fear for their safety.

The communiqué was jointly signed by the President of ARD-ESUT, Dr. Chukwunonso Ofonere, and its Secretary General, Dr. Ikemefuna Nnamani.

The statement called on the management of ESUTH Teaching and the Enugu State Government to declare a state of emergency on the employment of doctors in the hospital.

According to the statement, the EGM observed that it is now 120 days since the government through the Secretary to the State Government promised the ARD of employment of Medical Officers and Resident Doctors, and we are yet to see an advert to this effect.

It said that the EGM was intimated of the Management’s proposed plan to ensure the safety of Doctors and other health workers in the hospital.

The statement noted that the EGM had resolved to extend the initial 14 days ultimatum by another 14 days ultimatum which shall end on Dec. 1.

“First, the management should declare state of emergency on the employment of doctors in the hospital. There should be an urgent approval for the recruitment of medical officers, resident doctors and House Officers in the hospital.

“This recruitment should be focused especially at the Accident and Emergency Department, Surgery Department, Internal Medicine Department, Paediatrics Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Departments,”.

It noted that resident doctors that had left the institution in the past four years were never replaced.

“Secondly, management should ensure implementation of safety policies to protect her workers against physical attacks and kidnap within one week as promised by the Chief Medical Director (CMD).

“Thirdly, the immediate implementation of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) as our counterpart in other states; even as attached to this communique is the list of the eligible doctors and the financial implications,” it said.

The statement noted that the EGM resolved that after 14 days and the above demands were not met, industrial harmony could not be guaranteed.

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