#BounceExclusive: LUTH Turns Back Patients Following Doctors’ Strike
The nationwide strike embarked upon by resident doctors has paralysed activities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi Araba,
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had on September 4 directed its members nationwide to embark on an indefinite strike to pressurise government to meet its demands.
When Bounce News visited LUTH on Wednesday, all the facilities were virtually empty.
The unusual quietness of the hospital showed that many patients have been turned down.
The Gynaecology and Paediatric Units which are always busy on normal days were scanty.
A similar scenario was witnessed at the Guinness Eye Clinic as the unit had become a ghost of its busy self with no doctors and only few nurses.
The Out Patient Department (OPD) remained shut.
The only units that seemed to have many patients were the Accident and Emergency Units of the hospital.
Our correspondent observed that the patients were being attended to even though it took the patients a longer time before they could see the doctor.
One of the patients at the Emergency unit, Mariam Oyetunde, told our correspondent that she spent about five hours before she could see a doctor.
“I came here around 7.30 a.m but couldn’t see the doctor until some few minutes aftr 12 p.m, but I am still happy since he had attended to me,’’ she said.
The hospital’s Head Corporate Services Division, Kelechi Otuneme ,told our correspondent on phone that the situation was worrisome.
He said that the other components of the hospital had been at their best to cover up, yet the hospital was still feeling the effect of the strike.
He said some consultants have been attending to patients since the strike commenced on Monday.
He stated the measure became necessary in order to attend to the patients that needed urgent medical attention due to their conditions.
He said the consultants who normally see the patients at the hospital on weekly basis have now been directed by the management to provide full services in place of the striking doctors.
It will be recalled that in January this year, NARD embarked on a seven-day nationwide warning strike to press home their demand for revitalised Residency training programme, implementation of the National Health Act, payment of arrears among other things.
The members of NARD are demanding the resolution of persistent shortfalls and unpaid arrears of salaries in federal and state tertiary health institutions.
Other issues include enrolment of resident doctors into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, since 2003 and non-implementation of adjusted House Officers’ Entry grade level equivalent since 2014.
The striking doctors are also asking for resolution of issues around stagnation of their promotion and non-promotion of members with requisite criteria, despite all collective bargaining agreements and circulars.
NARD met with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, but they failed to reach an agreement.