The Federal Government has temporarily shut down the Federal Medical Centre Owerri to restore law and order at the health facility.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole announced the closure at an emergency media briefing in Abuja.
He said that government was left with no option than to temporarily shut down the centre that had been on strike since April 2015.
“It is pertinent to note that the contentious issue at the centre was the proposal forwarded to the top management committee by the Medical Director, Dr. Angela Uwakwem, on the introduction of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in some revenue generating units of the hospital to entrench accountability and increase the revenue base of the hospital.
It may interest you to know that the federal government is fully in support of ppp especially in the health sector, bearing in mind that government can no longer fund health alone. The proposal was vehemently opposed by people who have been benefiting from the system and went on to incite the unions.”
The minister noted that workers had accused the Medical Director of the Centre, Dr. Angela Uwakwem, of misappropriation of funds, to which she was found not guilty.
Prof. Adewole, stressed that his visit to the FMC Owerri was very revealing.
” I was saddened because it showed labour unionism at the highest level of impunity whereby employees of government who have been getting their salaries regularly were clad in black and were chanting solidarity songs. I was barely one month in office and should have been given a benefit of doubt,” the minister opined.
The minister said that the penchant to resort to strikes and disrupt services was inimical to the overall development of the country and should be deployed as a weapon when dialogue fails.