CMD alleges plan to disrupt medical services at LUTH
‘Hospital worked for only 253 days last year’
The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba has alleged plans by some trainee doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARDs), with support of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), to disrupt services in the institution.
At a press briefing yesterday, the management of LUTH, led by the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof. Chris Bode, said the teaching hospital will hold a retreat at the weekend to develop a set of guidelines and rules of engagement that will help sanitise the system.
Bode disclosed that doctors and other health workers in LUTH worked for only 112 days last year due to frequent strike, and they still earn more than their counterparts in private hospitals.
The CMD said: “We don’t report to NMA. We are only begging them to stay away. LUTH is an independent institution set up by the Federal Government to offer specialized services and training to Nigerians. We are grateful for the change in the country. We don’t want the erring doctors to throw us into trouble again. We should be left to do what we do best.
Residency is not more than an apprenticeship. Until now, a lot of rules of engagement were oral. Now that oral tradition has to change, we have to put it in black and white. By the time we come back from our retreat, it will be a LUTH issue.
We will not allow our trainee doctors, people who are less trained than us to dictate to us. We are a school. There are rules of engagement, if you like it, you stay, if you don’t, you ship out. You cannot really blame them. They grew up thinking that Nigeria was never good.
“We have about 11 schools in LUTH and we will not allow one of them, the Resident Doctors, whose examination fees we pay, but they are always on strike, to hold us to ransom. If we allow them, they will shut down the hospital.”
The NMA, Lagos chapter, had last week called for removal of Bode as the CMD of LUTH on the grounds that there is no security because a member of its sister association, ARD, was assaulted by security operatives in the hospital and that he has reached 60 years.
Bode told The Guardian: “Healthcare workers in the private sector earn an average of what those in the public sector earn. Make an investigation on this. They earn more here, but they work less. Is that not food for thought. Last year LUTH did not work for 253 days, we worked for only 112 days last year and they collected their salaries and still worked for private hospitals. If that is happening, how will the system move.”
He further said: “The president of our resident doctors association here had the audacity to face me and told me that he will go to any extent to achieve their aim. This is part of what they are doing. I reported it to the security agencies.
“If a student can look at the CMD and say he will go to any extent to achieve their aims, it shows you the kind of leadership problems the country is facing in the medical field. This is the reason for this orchestrated call that Bode must go. Whether Bode goes or not, people must always demand for service and one day this country will start asking what are we getting from this money we are spending training these doctors and paying for services not rendered. That is the issue.