Doctors in UCH embark on strike

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Yesterday, a relative went to the University College Hospital Ibadan for treatment but was asked to go to another hospital because doctors in the tertiary health facility are on strike.

The strike which today (Tuesday) entered its fourth day was embarked upon by members of the Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital.

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital, Dr. Lukman Ogunjinmi, said casualisation of medical officers and the refusal of the UCH management to honour a circular issued by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation on the welfare of doctors were issues at the centre of the strike.

The association has about 600 doctors in the hospital.

He said, “The reasons why we are on strike are clear. What we are against is casualisation and we want skipping to be implemented as directed by the Federal Government in circulars issued by the Head of Service of the Federation and that issued by the Federal Ministry of Health.

“The Federal Government in the circular said a particular grade level should be skipped by all health workers. It has been done for all other health workers while some centres have started doing it for doctors. This is backed up. Here in UCH, it has not been done.”

But the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Temitope Alonge, had denied having doctors with casual status in the hospital.

Alonge said that some of the issues raised were internal matters that had been resolved.

He said, “For us, the issue of salaries and wages that are due to workers is not the prerogative of the ministries. It is the prerogative of the National Salary and Wages Commission. So, the issue of employment is resident in the Head of Service.

“In the circular that we have from the National Salary and Wages Commission, there is nothing like skipping for doctors. So, whatever conflict that has arisen, the only body that is empowered to provide an answer is the National Salary Wages Commission. You don’t pay what you don’t have.”

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