The Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Friday embarked on an indefinite strike over non-payment of outstanding salaries and allowances.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the association was also demanding for the payment of outstanding arrears owed house officers, resident doctors, and residency training fees.
Other issues, they are seeking interventions include the lack of resident doctors and house officers across all units and better lighting in the dark portions within the hospital environment.
NAN reports that resident doctors and house officers had staged a peaceful protest on May 22 followed with a two-day warning strike on the same issues.
Dr. Kayode Makinde, President, LUTH ARD, told NAN on Friday that the hospital management had not called leaders of ARD for another meeting after the warning strike.
Makinde said ARD executives had no option than to embark on the indefinite strike, adding that members of the association would not resume work until all their demands were met.
According to him, 65 house officers were being owed between one and five months’ salaries.
“With the present numbers of house officers (177), it means one out of three house officers is currently being owed salaries.
“House officers are not enrolled on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System platform so what is the reason for the perennial delay in payment of their salaries?
“House officers are bona fide members of the association of resident doctors LUTH.
“As of today, there are 255 resident doctors in LUTH; between 2014 and 2015, there were 547 resident doctors in LUTH.
“So, 86 resident doctors are being owed one to three months salaries on the IPPIS platform.
“Some have their pension funds credited with deductions from both employers and employees,” he said.
Makinde said that no resident doctor in LUTH has been sponsored for examinations and update courses in five years, and LUTH is the only centre in Nigeria in this regard.
“The residential quarters of doctors and house officers are still in darkness in spite of the availability of 24 hours of power supply in the hospital.
“The No Work, No Pay policy is currently a subject of litigation at the National Industrial Court. Will the LUTH management hold the court in contempt?
“This is a clarion call to all resident doctors and house officers of LUTH to cooperate because together we can achieve and get our demands,” he said.
When contacted, Prof. Olufemi Fasanmade, the Chairman, LUTH Medical Advisory Committee told NAN that the present agitation started when the association demanded the withdrawal of the administrative query given to some of its members.
Fasanmade said LUTH management does not employ resident doctors and house officers, noting that each of these cadres was admitted periodically for training under specific rules.
“Admission into each of these training programmes is based on extant approvals from the appropriate government agencies.
“It is, therefore, not the call of ARD to dictate when or how trainees are being admitted.
“Currently, 189 house officers are on our payroll; LUTH has enough house officers for the care of about 400 patients on admission.
“LUTH management had secured assurances from a corporate organization to install bright LED streetlights within the premises.
“LUTH owes no salaries to any resident doctor; rather, IPPIS does, as no money was paid to LUTH for any resident doctor salary,” he said.
Fasanmade also said that LUTH management and representatives of LUTH management met with the ARD leadership two weeks ago during their warning strike.
“Specifically, the representative of the board chairman reminded ARD that most of the issues it tabled were not within the control of the hospital.
“It will be conveyed to the appropriate authorities and implore them to tow the path of peace and not disturb or try to disrupt essential services in LUTH.
“The general public is hereby assured that the hospital will be opened for business and no services will be shut down in LUTH,” he said.