As the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, today suspended its almost four-month strike over unpaid allowances, the doctors have called for the forensic audit of billions of Naira yearly committed to various teaching hospitals.
Briefing newsmen in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, ARD President, UCH branch, Dr. Luqman Ogumjmi, said there was need to block leakages and use whatever recovered to bring back the glory of the hospital to international standard.
Ogumjmi said, “Our members are hereby directed by the emergency general meeting of the ARD, UCH, to go back to their duty posts 8a.m. Monday, 17th August, 2015, while negotiation continues in the interest of our patients”.
The ARD expressed optimism that the management of UCH would not allow the new found peace to be eroded by reneging on all that the two parties had agreed upon in the presence of all the eminent personalities that waded into the matter, noting that anything short of total compliance on the part of the management would meet with commensurate reaction on the part of the association.
Dr. Ogunjimi, supported by the Secretary-General, Anthony Ude also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the immediate and remote causes of this strike in various teaching hospitals in the country and especially at the UCH and ensure such are prevented in the future. Dr. Ogunjinmi said the association decided to call off the strike following intervention from well- meaning Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), UI Vice Chancellor, Professor Isaac Adewole, Elders in the field of Medicine and Dentistry and the Medical, Dental Council Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), among others.
UCH ARD also urged the Federal Government to ensure immediate enrollment of all Resident Doctors in the Contributory Pension Scheme as captured in the Pension Act and investigate the deliberate non-promotion of members of staff in the hospital by the Hospital Management despite regular and up-to-date submission of confidential report of Resident Doctors by various clinical departments.
Equally, the government, according to the ARD should “investigate the activities of the Committee of CMDs/MDs, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Budget Office of the Federation for the roles played in the course of the avoidable industrial crisis”.
The Resident Doctors embarked on strike on the 1st of May this year alleging that clinical service delivery was being hampered by infrastructural collapse like non-working elevators (with attending health implications for members of staff), lack of reagent and laboratory materials, disposables like gloves and so on. The doctors also complained of deplorable and dilapidated call rooms, delay and non-promotion of members, even after meeting all requisite conditions, unremitted pension fund deductions/refusal of enrolment of members on the Contributory Pension Scheme and non-implementation of the Federal Government’s directive of 2013 and conditions of service.