Resident doctors in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, have dragged the management of the hospital before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of fraud.
The doctors, who embarked on a week-long protest against the UNTH management, also took the matter to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission.
Nwidenyi accused the management of making what he described as ‘fraudulent’ tax deductions from the salaries of the resident doctors.
President of the Association of Resident Doctors, UNTH Chapter, Dr Isaiah Nwidenyi, who led a protest march to the South-East zonal offices of the EFCC and ICPC in Enugu, said the hospital’s management had been short-changing the doctors.
According to him, UNTH doctors have been short-changed to the extent that they are no longer sure of the amount they are supposed to receive as their monthly salaries
He said, “We have been short-changed for a long time. We are no longer treated as resident doctors. What is due to us have been taken away from us.
“We don’t know how much our salary is; we don’t know how much we are to get as arrears. Today, we demand transparency, we demand honesty, openness and accountability.”
Nwidenyi further accused the UNTH management of trying to divert the sum of N100m sent by the Federal Government to settle arrears owed to the medical doctors.
He further asked the EFCC and ICPC to investigate deductions being made from the resident doctors’ salaries by the hospital’s management.
“There is an illegal policy that is being implemented by the hospital management – they call it bond deduction.
“Any doctor that starts work in the hospital, his first Call Duty Allowance is withheld. They remove it, they call it bond deduction.
“We don’t understand that argument. What they say is that by the time we will be leaving the system, they will give us the money. It is not true – nobody has ever been refunded and it is illegal.
“It is ether they send the money to the Treasury Single Account or they send the money to the government, which they don’t do. They send it to their private accounts and claim that it is bond.
“How can you remove N98,000 from over 150 new resident doctors and N50,000 from over 130 house officers? It is big money,” he said.
The anti-corruption agencies promised to investigate the allegations levelled against the UNTH management.
South-East Zonal Director of the EFCC, Usman Imam, assured that the petition would receive “adequate and prompt attention”.
Imam gave the assurance when the aggrieved resident doctors stormed the South-East zonal office of the EFCC in Enugu.
Also speaking when the protesting doctors went to his office, the South-East zonal commissioner of the ICPC, Amedu Sule, noted that ‘investigations will commence without delay”.
Sule allayed concerns expressed by the resident doctors, who noted that an earlier petition sent to the ICPC over the matter was not given any attention.