Thursday, November 29, 2018 7:04 pm
As resident doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Thursday embarked on indefinite strike, the hospital management said shortfall in its allocation led to nonpayment of the doctors’ salaries.
Mr Kelechi Otunme, LUTH Public Relations Officer, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, while reacting to the doctors’ strike which begun on Thursday.
Dr Adewale Oba, ARD President, had on Wednesday said the doctors would down tools following refusal of the management to pay the outstanding three months salaries of resident doctors.
Oba said: “It is unfortunate that we had another meeting on Wednesday where we resolved to embark on an indefinite strike, commencing on Nov. 29.
“We want to appeal to the general public, most especially the influential members of the public to prevail on the management to quickly avert the industrial action.’’
Oba, however, said that all members of the association fully complied with the association’s strike directive.
Otunme said that the three months outstanding salaries of the resident doctors followed the insufficient allocation earmarked for personnel in the institution’s annual budget.
According to him, LUTH management has engaged the Ministry of Finance and other appropriate ministries to correct this shortfall and efforts have reached an advanced stage to resolve it.
“The management will continue to dialogue with them (resident doctors) and other affected doctors in the hospital to resolve this issue.
“The hospital’s doors remained open for service while discussions and negotiations continue and there may be delay pending the return of the affected workers to work,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the patients at LUTH, Mr Wasiu Akintade, urged the Federal Government and LUTH management to always ensure that doctors’ demands were met in order to avoid incessant strikes.
“Strike in the health institutions should be avoided by all means, because it is very dangerous due to the fact that people’s lives are involved,’’ Akintade said.
Another patient, Miss Adeyinka Carew, appealed to the striking doctors, the management and Federal Government to reach an agreement that would put a stop to this incessant strike.
“Constant strike affect patients majorly, consultants alone cannot treat us as the residents doctor are very important to meeting the patients’ demands.
Also, Mrs Iyamide Ojo, a pregnant woman, said that the plights of expectant mothers should be taken into consideration, because most of the resident doctors were attending to our cases.
In spite of the indefinite strike embarked upon by ARD members, essential medical services were uninterrupted on Thursday at LUTH.
Visit to the hospital showed that consultants and other categories of health workers, including nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and cleaners were seen attending to the patients.