From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

The strike embarked upon by Abia doctors over the non-payment of salaries by the state government has entered its 54th day without any end in sight.

This is even as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) expressed worry over impending withdrawal of accreditation of Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba by National Universities Commission (NUC).

In a statement by its Chairman, Abali Isaiah, and Secretary, Ekeleme Daniel, NMA Abia branch urged the state government to address the problem and save the Abia State public deaths and medical complications arising from the impasse. 

While noting that every efforts it has made for the government and their representatives to change the narrative has not yielded any fruit, NMA said it was disheartening that government could allow the strike to continue as if doctors lives did not matter.

NMA recalled the withdrawal of accreditation by the MDCN that presently excludes Abia state university from admitting students into the college of medicine.

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“Of note also is the impending withdrawal of accreditation by the NUC, thereby, foreclosing medical school training in Abia State University. 

“Worse still, students presently admitted in various academic levels in the medical school would not be able to graduate. 

“Of note, equally is that in the past eight years, no discernible medical/surgical consultant has been employed in the ABSUTH, resident doctors and house officers, all over the country, avoid ABSUTH as a plague due to the profound underdevelopment of the hospital and non-payment of salaries. 

“With the possible retirements of the ageing doctors in ABSUTH without replacement, it is expected that this former great facility that has produced great medical professionals, all over the world, would die a natural deathm,” NMA said. 

NMA regretted that many of the doctors concerned, having been owed upward of 26 months salary arrears, have not been able to pay their house rents prompting different types of embarrassments from landlords, even as they said some of them borrowed money to send their wards to school.