Doctors Withdraw Services In Ekiti Over Colleagues’ Abduction | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Doctors Withdraw Services In Ekiti Over Colleagues’ Abduction

Posted: May 10, 2015 at 7:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•UBTH Resident Doctors Embark On Warning Strike

By Yaqoub Popoola (Ado-Ekiti) and Francis Onoiribholo (Benin)


Medical doctors in Ekiti State under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association ( NMA) have declared an indefinite strike over the kidnap of two medical personnel in the State.

In a letter made available to journalists in Ado-Ekiti by the state’s NMA Chairman, Dr. John Akinbote, the doctors said they have also made their position known to the Governor, Ayodele Fayose.

A former Chief Medical Director at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Patrick Adegun, and a theatre Nurse with the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, Mrs Margaret Aladeneka were seized at different locations in Ekiti some days ago. Until Saturday, the duo, who were abducted alongside their spouses, were yet to be found.

The Ekiti State NMA’s decision to withdraw all clinical services in Ekiti State was taken at an Emergency General Meeting held on Friday in Ado Ekiti.

“As a result of the above development, the house unanimously resolved to withdraw all clinical services in Ekiti State until the safety of our members can be guaranteed,” the letter stated.

The association had earlier raised the alarm over incessant harassment and attacks of doctors and other health workers in the state calling on the State Government and Law Enforcement Agencies to curtail the incidents.

It also called on the government to expedite action on the implementation of the adjusted revised Consolidated Medical Salary Scale Circular issued by the Federal Government since January 1, 2014.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Information, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi, has, however, expressed worry about the situation.

He appealed to the doctors to shelve their resolve to suspend work, saying such step won’t be in the interest of the State, particularly for those with critical ailments.

Ogunsuyi said, “Police and State Government will make Ekiti secured for health workers and every worker in the State. We will put in place good measures for people to be able to move without hindrance.”

This happened as Resident doctors under the Association of Resident Doctors at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) kicked off a five-day warning strike, at the weekend, as a way of pushing the management of the hospital to improve the welfare of its members.

The aggrieved doctors have also issued a 21-day ultimatum to the authorities of the hospital to address what they described as a long list of agitation and demands or risk an indefinite strike.

The President of the association, Dr. Owen Omoregbe, told Sunday Independent on Saturday that the doctors were owed some allowances spanning months to years.

He decried the alleged casualisation of medical officers and poor job description of our interns in the teaching.

He also said that management had failed to implement the new grade level for house officers in the hospital.

Omorogbe noted that although there had been series of meetings between ARD and representatives of the hospital management, the doctors were yet to see positive results.

He however stated that the association would not hesitate to down tools, if the university authorities failed to address the demands on or before May 27.

According to Omorogbe, “We have met with representatives of the management and they have acknowledged that some of these demands are legitimate. But they also have said that they need time and money to iron out some of these things.

“This is a warning strike for five days. We have also issued a 21-day ultimatum beginning from Thursday (May 7) after which we will go on an indefinite strike, if our demands are not met.”

Efforts to reach the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Professor. Mike Ibadin were unsuccessful.

However, the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Kehinde Ibitoye, told our correspondent on telephone that CMD would meet with the striking doctors on Monday.

“The CMD will talk with them on Monday. He has not been around. what they are saying is nationwide. It is not in UBTH alone,” she said.