Monday, May 22, 2017
Maltreatment of FMC Doctors
Resident doctors of FMC, Owerri recently published an open petition to Mr. President complaining of maltreatment in their place of work. In our opinion that letter was sub-standard, incoherent, over-written and even boring. It did not make its point succinctly, pungently and convincingly. For that, it could have been annoying to read by the president due to its poor logical presentation.
However, we can pick a few disquieting issues from it. The most dangerous aspect of the doctors' presentation is the instability the federal government seems to be imposing on the hospital through poor motivation of its workers, especially doctors. What do we expect from a hospital where its doctors are owed? To their credit, the doctors are working well despite the one month salary they have been denied, which appears to be the main grouse in their petition. To settle this is not a big deal for a hospital that is spending a lot of money, fencing its large premises. To get the doctors paid, motivated and happy is more important than this. We therefore demand that the doctors be paid without anymore delay.
The next point is the dwindling service value of the medical center for a long time now. This questions the essence of building a massive, expensive hospital that is of little or no use to the people because of internal wrangling that is avoidable. Doctors there may be rendering service with reluctance, and this will to an extent be defeating the purpose of a medical center of that magnitude in Imo state. What is worth doing is worth doing well.
Furthermore it is disheartening that, as the petition points out, “while N15, 000 is deposited by patients prior to major surgery in Kano, women booked for emergency caesarean section in FMC Owerri are compelled to make N50, 000, minimum deposit”. Nothing can justify this discrimination in a country striving for oneness and unity.
The current management under the headship of Dr. Achigbu ought to provide immediate answers to the concerns of its doctors, including their proper placement and the issuing of appointment letters. We shall be pleased to see sanity restored to the FMC, Owerri as a matter of urgency and of course necessity. The problem is well within the competence of the management to resolve. The effort and cash it will cost are affordable. If this is not done, the FMC management will have a case to answer for alleged incompetence.