Fresh conflict looms in Lagos university hospital

Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH)
Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH)

Doctors may down tools again.


The Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, doctors may down their work tools in the coming week.

The resident doctors just resumed from an almost one month industrial action embarked upon by both the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD,
as well as the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, (Luth Chapter).

They had been protesting poor infrastructure, inadequate man power, poor welfare, poor working environment, unnecessary hike in the amount spent by patients for simple procedures and operations and haphazard residency training programme.

The workers returned to work last Thursday after some of their grievances, including reduction of the amount paid for admission and surgery down to 50 percent, were addressed.

However, doctors in LUTH have informed PREMIUM TIMES of the likelihood of yet another showdown with the management.

The source said the health workers may commence another strike in the coming week after the Chief Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, Chris Bode, refused to sign up many of the resident doctors planning to sit for the forthcoming West Africa Postgraduate College Examinations.

This means the careers of the doctors will be negatively impacted.

Mr. Bode had been at the centre of a controversial appointment letter, which was issued to newly appointed resident doctors, meant to send them out of training immediately after passing their Part 1 instead of the usual Part 2 examination.

But for the intervention of the Minister of Health following a protest by ARD and the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, the letter was withdrawn.

This did not go down well with the CMAC who sources say vowed to deal with the resident doctors.

To carry out his threat, Mr. Bode refused to sign up many of the resident doctors planning to sit for the forthcoming West Africa
Postgraduate College Examinations that has a June 30 deadline.

Sources say Mr. Bode did not mince words and cited the protest and strike by the resident doctors as his reason. He remained adamant even after the intervention of the association’s president, Olubunmi Omojowolo.

“By refusing to sign these resident doctors for the examination, it simply means the management is going against its promise not to victimize any doctor on account of partaking in an industrial action and this may spell doom for the CMAC whose appointment has been characterized by a lot of controversy,” a senior doctor with LUTH stated under anonymity.

“In the current situation where there are very few specialist doctors in the country to cater for a teeming population, efforts should be geared towards increasing their number, otherwise the era of going abroad for medical care termed medical tourism which is seriously draining the national GDP may never become a thing of the past.

“Therefore, any action that will mitigate against achieving the goal of improving our health sector through increment in the number of Specialist doctors should be condemned by all well meaning Nigerians” a resident doctor who simply described himself as Dr. Obi said. He refused to give his full name for fear of being victimized by the LUTH management,” the doctor said.

Efforts to contact the CMAC or the Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the Institution, Hope Nwawolor, were futile.

The both refused to pick their calls and would not respond to text messages sent to their phones.

Also, the Chief Medical Doctor, CMD, of the institution, Akin Osibogun, coul not be reached.

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