Resident Doctors’ Strike Untimely, Says Awute
Igbobi Orthopaedic Hospital Commissions SICOT Centre
THE Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, has condemned the ongoing strike embarked by some resident doctors in federal hospitals, saying it is untimely.
Some resident doctors in federal hospitals, including the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), have been on strike for weeks over welfare packages.
Awute, who criticised the strike on Thursday during the commissioning of Societe Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopédique et de Traumatologie, (SICOT) Education Centre at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi (NOHI), Lagos, stated that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was too young to experience strike from the resident doctors.
Awute explained that the resident doctors should have created room for dialogue with the government before embarking on the strike. He commended the SICOT Centre which he said would “advance skills and knowledge of orthopedic services” in Nigeria and the Western African sub-region.
On the strike, Awute said. “There are many things we ask in our prayers when we are speaking to the Almighty Creator, but not all the things we want that we get. But responsible people still remain gratified that they are alive and that they have the gift of life. This is a new government. We are saying that this type of strike is wrong. Second, we have not seen anything that threatens the existence or the foundation of the resident doctors to warrant a strike of this magnitude. Remember that everybody in the health system and every worker in the health system have one problem or the other. So, you don’t just embark on strike as a means of solving that problem. First of all, you have to tow the line of dialogue. But so far, I have not seen any moment of dialogue that preceded this strike under this present administration.
“You are demanding for payment that is not in the budget of 2015. The solution is simple. You wait so that 2016 budget articulation will embrace all these demands. That will you require to call off the strike. As far I am concerned, it is the life of the patients that matter. So, sacking them from the hospitals, and going on strike, or remaining on strike perpetually for these number of months, is also a disservice to Nigerians.”
The SICOT Centre, built by SICOT in partnership with NOHI, is aimed at the advancement of orthopaedic and trauma training in Nigeria. The centre is the fifth in the world and second in Africa.
SICOT is an international non-profit association incorporated under Belgian law with the aim of promoting the advancement of the science and art of orthopaedics and traumatology at international level, in particular for the improvement of patients’ care, and to foster and develop teaching, research and education.
The Lagos SICOT centre is equipped with wet laboratory, cadaver preservation room, administrative offices, a 40-seat lecture room and dry laboratory among others.
NOHI Medical Director, Dr Olurotimi Odunubi, who praised the initiative, stated that the SICOT Centre would assist in providing educational materials and visiting lecturers, adding that fellowship will be given to trainees from the education centre to visit international institutions of excellence in exchange programme.
National Delegate, SICOT Nigeria, Dr Wahab Yinusa, said: “Today’s ceremony opens a new page in the history of SICOT Nigeria and that of NOHI”, adding that Nigeria will benefit immensely from the education centre.