Strike continues as UCH, doctors’ meeting fails

There is no end to the strike embarked upon by the resident doctors of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State as a meeting called to resolve the differences between the doctors and the hospital management ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.

About 600 resident doctors are involved in the strike.Many patients waited in vain with no doctors to attend to them as the strike reached its fifth day on Tuesday.

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital, Dr. Lukman Ogunjinmi, who addressed the press in Ibadan on Tuesday, said the hospital management reached an agreement with the doctors on the issue of casualisation of doctors. But he added the strike would continue because the management refused to commit itself on the issue of skipping grade level even after the Federal Government had given a directive to the effect.

Ogunjimi said, “We actually want the public to know that we are with them and that money is not the issue but rights of the resident doctors. We want Nigerians to prevail on the hospital management to do the needful so that we can go back to work. It is so unfortunate that we are where we are now. This strike is the product of seven months of failed negotiation. “Two months ago, we issued an ultimatum to the management but well-meaning Nigerians intervened. Promotion of our members has been delayed for more than 18 months but we endured because we felt it was an internal issue. Our call rooms are in deplorable state but we still kept on working.

“What annoyed our members mostly was the issue of casualisation. We were told that our members would be sacked after three years of employment although the CMD has resolved that. “More importantly is the issue of skipping a particular grade level by all health workers. The Federal Government gave the directive that doctors should enjoy skipping a level in service. “There were circulars from the Head of Service of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Health to that effect. The UCH management approved skipping for some categories of members of staff but left out resident doctors.

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