Some frontline healthcare workers in Delta state were prevented from leaving Jubilee Hotel and Resort, Warri, on Tuesday over the non-payment of their accommodation bill.
A medical source told journalists that the frontline workers – three doctors, two nurses and one health assistant – were billed to resume for morning duty at the Central Hospital treatment centre for COVID-19 patients in Warri but were prevented from leaving the hotel.
The source said this is not the first time that frontliners in the fight against COVID-19 would be held in the hotel over non-payment of bills.
As of the time of writing this report, the health workers were still being held at the hotel premises.
The source said the development is taking a toll on some COVID-19 patients who are due for discharge as they are still being held at the treatment centre.
“The caregivers who ran night shift are now overstretched as those to relieve them by morning have been held down at the hotel,” he said.
“They are threatening to down tools unless the state government take urgent steps to rectify the situation and honour the agreement with the hotel management.
“This is the second time that health workers would be held because government is owing bills for accommodation. It happened at Isiaka Hotel where some of the front line COVID-19 health workers at the Warri treatment centre were lodged. The government paid part of the money, and at the moment they are still owing that hotel.
“So there was an agreement between these hotels and the state government but it appears the government is no longer fulfilling its own part of the deal.”
The source added that the health workers are planning to withdraw their services from the Warri treatment centre by Wednesday morning if government fails to address the issue.
Mordi Ononye, commissioner for health, neither responded to calls nor text messages seeking his reaction to the development.