“What we are asking for is in the interest of the public.”
The Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, on Wednesday said its members would not return to work after the three days nationwide warning strike.
The President of the LUTH branch of the association, Omojowolo Olubunmi, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Mr. Olubunmi said that the local strike would be indefinite since LUTH management had yet to meet the association’s demands.
He said that the doctors resolved to continue with strike in view of some local issues which the management had yet to resolve.
He said the association’s meeting with the management on June 2 could not yield any positive result.
“The association has learned from the past experience and resolved not to return to work until the issues we raised locally have been addressed.
“We want action; we are no longer interested in talking without action. What we are asking for is in the interest of the public.
“Currently, the system in LUTH is not patients or doctors’ friendly. We are not asking for better pay.
“We are only asking for basic equipment, better water supply and good means of communication to make patients more comfortable and to aid in the education of our doctors,” he said.
Mr. Olubunmi said that communication, being a necessary tool for the medical procedure was not made available for LUTH resident doctors.
“Communication in the hospital is limited, doctors cannot just call the laboratory section and ask for results, we either go down and get the results or use our personal cell phones.
“This is time consuming and can make a difference between life and death for the patients,” he said.
Mr. Olubunmi said that another issue of contention was the refusal of LUTH management to adopt the practises they earlier agreed with the association as contained in August, 2013 circular.
According to him, the circular is in line with the template established by the Federal Government which allows doctors to be tested three times before being discharged.
“In spite of the Federal Government’s template and the 2013 circular, LUTH management just issued letters to resident doctors to quit their residency before their time was up.”
He said that in other countries, resident doctors were expected to train for certain periods of time and allowed up to six times.
Mr. Olubunmi said that Nigeria would not be able to overcome the shortage of specialists if residents were not allowed time to train and to retake examinations as obtained in other countries.