The Association of Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest over the non-payment of their outstanding seven months salaries.
The doctors, who were dressed in their medical kits, went round the hospital complex chanting various anti-management songs.
They also displayed placards with various inscriptions, including “Many Doctors are still being Owed Seven Months Salary; LUTH Management, Ministry of Health, Accountant-General of the Federation and Budget Office Enough is Enough’’.
“No Respite yet on Poor Water and Power Supply; Inadequate Materials and Consumables; Non-payment of our December Salary, and Stagnation of Many Doctors for Years at same Salary Grade Level”.
The President of the association, Ramon Moronkola, said the protest was to press for the payment of salaries of 700 resident doctors in the hospital.
Mr. Moronkola said that resident doctors who were being owed included registrars, senior registrars and house officers of the hospital.
“This protest is to register our displeasure over the non-payment of our seven months’ salary since July, 2014 till date.
“Depending on our different cadres, some have not been paid December salary; the issue of stagnation of salary grade level and non-payment of three months pension refund.
“The poor working conditions in LUTH such as epileptic power supply and lack of water supply are not helping our training.
“We have had meetings with the management but nothing is being done to address these issues.
“We had the worst Christmas and New Year celebrations because we were not paid and yet, we have been patient and diligent at our work,” he said.
Mr. Moronkola, however, urged the Federal Ministry of Health, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Budget Office and the LUTH management to do the needful and alleviate the sufferings of doctors.
“We are not on strike, we are not interested in punishing our patients, this is just a peaceful protest to register our grievances and fight for our rights.
“We also want Nigerians to be aware of our plight and help us to appeal to the relevant authorities to do the needful by addressing our demands,” he said.
In his reaction, Chris Bode, the acting Chief Medical Director of LUTH, said that a hitch in the government’s payment system was responsible for the development.
“There was a problem with the government’s payment system and lots of doctors, not just resident doctors in LUTH were affected and it is being rectified,” Mr. Bode said.
He said that a meeting was held recently in Abuja over the problems, urging the doctors to be patient as they would be paid soon.
“The resident doctors should also focus on their residency training programme and not turn it into a salary earning venture.
“We don’t pay salaries but the management is doing all it can to assist the government and solve these problems,’’ he said.