Resident doctors accuse LUTH of indifference
PATIENTS at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and their relations may have to wait longer than expected for the doctors’ return as the Idi-Araba chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) has accused the hospital management of indifference to the issues that led to its indefinite strike.
ARD Secretary, Dr. Sekumade Adebayo, told The Guardian yesterday that while the 21-day ultimatum and the subsequent three-day warning strike lasted, the management made no attempt to negotiate with the body, and even since the indefinite strike started on Monday, there has yet been no attempt to meet their agitations.
The association downed tools on Monday over “poor working condition” in the institution and non-implementation of “skipping” structure as directed by the Federal Government. According to ARD, patients’ relatives, ignorant of the institutional problems, had severally harassed doctors for not delivering or delay in delivering some services.
According to the body, doctors have been stagnated for years following the institution’s refusal to implement skipping. Adebayo said: “The management has not called ARD for any negotiation up till now over all the issues we raised.” He wondered why the hospital has refused to pay the skipping allowance.
He disagreed with the hospital that it does not have money, as other hospitals in the same category and which also draw their grants from the same purse are all paying. He added: “This means that there are some issues and we need to look at them. If somebody is not being dutiful, that person has to be identified and if needs be, properly sanctioned.”
Adebayo urged management to dialogue with the doctors, as the industrial action is not in anyone’s interest, rather, the patients would suffer.
However, the LUTH Public Relations Officer, Kelechi O. Otuneme, has described the situation as lose-lose to all concerned, stating that it will not only affect patients, some of whom might lose their lives, but also the students, who will lose training, and the hospital, which will lose revenue and image.
He appealed to the doctors to call off the strike, stressing that the management is responsible and humane but does not have the resources to start implementing the skipping. Nevertheless, he disclosed that the hospital was still maintaining its services to patients, the strike notwithstanding.