Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Wednesday began a two-day warning strike over unpaid salaries.
The President, Association of Resident Doctors, LUTH, Dr. Kayode Makinde, during a peaceful protest at the hospital, said the management has turned deaf ears to their demands for members’ welfare.
Makinde said: “How does one explain a situation where a House Officer, the most vulnerable of the doctors in LUTH, who has worked every day over the last five months, is yet to receive a single kobo as salary?
“How also do we explain a situation where Resident Doctors are being owed salaries, some up to five months.
“Another issue is that of our members who have been promoted over the years but the attached benefits have not been paid/underpaid.
“The records are there for all to see.
“The last time LUTH recruited doctors was in 2016.
“This has resulted in an acute shortage of medical doctors of all cadres, thereby predisposing Nigerians to sub-optimal care.
“Our members have gone for update courses and conferences, they have written examinations, yet no single exam and update fee has been paid on behalf of or refunded to any Resident Doctor since 2014 (five solid years).
“Even with the passage of the Medical Residency Training Bill into Law in 2018, there is still no commitment by the LUTH management in this regard.
“One then wonders how other Teaching Hospitals are able to offset some of these monies and LUTH keeps giving the same excuse of ‘no money’ every year.
“And this is without prejudice to other important issues such as inadequacy of call rooms, availability of call food and other welfare issues which other Teaching Hospitals with more forward looking Management has taken for granted.
“The Association has on several occasions had to step into the role the Hospital Management in some instances, such as having to pay for electricity bill of the Hospital Doctors Lounge and other issues concerning the welfare of doctors.
“The reason for the massive brain drain among medical personnel in Nigeria is not far fetched as LUTH currently epitomizes the reason why doctors flee.”
However, the hospital management in a letter signed by Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Prof. Olufemi Fesanmade, reminded the striking doctors that they were admitted for training in essential service sector and therefore they cannot leave there without observing the appropriate laid down procedures.
Fesanmade added that salaries and arrears of LUTH doctors are paid by the Federal Government and not by the hospital, insisting that the extant rules governing the process of strike actions as the no-work-no-pay is in force.