No fewer than 352 medical interns of the University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH are set to embark on a peaceful protest on Monday over the nonpayment of their 11 months' salaries.

SaharaReporters also gathered that the leaders of the interns planning the protest were invited on Sunday by the Department of State Services (DSS) over the planned protest.

File Photo

The medical interns accused the hospital management of owing them 11 months' salaries out of 12 months, which is the duration of the programme. 

The programme started on October 22, 2020, and December 1, 2020, for the first and second batches respectively. 

The interns said whenever they engage with the hospital management to discuss the non-payment of their salaries, they are threatened. 

Country Director, Citizens' Solution Network, Richard Friday Imoyo had posted on Facebook that indeed the representatives of the interns were again invited by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Sunday for questioning regarding their planned protest. 

He wrote in part, "DSS has invited the leaders of interns in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to their office for 3 pm today (Sunday) over the interns' planned protest against the refusal of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital to pay them their 11 months' salaries that run into half a billion naira.

"What these interns need are their 11 months' salaries and nothing more. The management should stop the intimidation, using DSS, and pay these interns.

"Those invited were Delphine Anusi, Nwogu Michael, Uneze Ibeakalam, and Atrogor Shadrack."

Atrogor Shadrack, one of those invited by the DSS, who later spoke to SaharaReporters said they were not intimidated by the DSS, but rather had a "fruitful discussion". 

"I was invited by DSS, we had a fruitful discussion and they said they are with us," he said. 

It was learnt that the Chief Medical Director (CMD) had issued all interns with appointment letters which they all accepted. 

They were required to pay N30,000.00 each to the hospital management.

The interns are from various departments including Pharmacy, 38; Nursing Science, 70; Optometry, 21; Dental Therapy, 29; Dental Technology, 38; Medical Laboratory Science, 130 and Radiography, 26.

According to their appointment letters, each intern is placed on a minimum salary of N135,000.00 each per month which amounts to N47,520,000.00 in all per month. 

However, in a memo obtained by SaharaReporters dated 2 August, 2021 with Ref: UCTH/DA/148/3090, the hospital management suspended the programme for one month.

The memo titled, 'Suspension of Internship Programme,' was signed by the Director of Administration, Ededet Eyoma on behalf of the Chief Medical Director.

The memo reads;

"I am directed to inform the Hospital Community that the Internship Programme of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital has been suspended for one month with effect from 2 August, 2021.

"This is consequent upon the security challenges experienced in recent times, occasioned by the activities of the current interns. The suspension follows a meeting of Management with the managers of the Internship Programme held on 2 August, 2021, and the approval of the Governing Board of the Hospital.

"The suspension will enable Management to evaluate the situation with a view to finding lasting solutions to the issues involved. Management hopes that normalcy will return within the shortest possible time. Heads of Departments are hereby directed to ensure compliance, please.

"In view of the above, security agencies have been engaged to ensure that no intern is found in the Hospital until the suspension is lifted."

The memo indicated that the interns were placed on a month suspension which has sadly turned out to be two months suspension now (August - September) simply because they asked for their payment.

SaharaReporters on Sunday obtained a flier saying the interns are planning to stage a protest on Monday in Calabar.

It reads, "UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR TEACHING HOSPITAL

11 MONTHS WITHOUT INTERNSHIP SALARY

PROF. IKPEME A. IKPEME END THIS SALARY INJUSTICE NOW!!!

WE ARE HUNGRY WE ARE FRUSTRATED OUR RENTS ARE EXPIRING

PAY INTERNS SALARY FROM (NOVEMBER 2020-SEPTEMBER 2021)

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

You may also like

Read Next

For comments view this content on the regular site.