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July 25, 2024

Doctors protest poor working conditions, shortage of manpower in Kogi


Residents Doctors at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja, FTHL on Thursday protested over the shortage of manpower and alleged obnoxious policies introduced by the management of the hospital led by Dr Olatunde Alabi.

The protesting doctors carried placard with various inscriptions saying, ‘We want to work, not to work and die,’ don’t kill us, stop using no work no pay to threaten us, ‘Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja doctors are dying help,” give us call meals,’ end casualization of doctors, “Federal Government, Mr President, come to our aide, among others.

The Resident Doctors protested around the hospital premises to register their grievances against the management of the hospital.

Addressing journalists, some of the protesting doctors who did not want their names in print over fear of victimization noted that their female colleagues have been losing their pregnancies because of too much workload.

” The management of Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja has been very disappointing to us. One of the issues we have been raising with them for overtime is the shortage of manpower. I want to put it on record that in 2020, we had about 222 resident doctors in this hospital.

” For over four years now, many of them have moved outside the shores of this country. Some moved to the consultant cadre while others resigned and moved to other centres. We are now left with only 64 Residents doctors. The workload keeps on increasing on daily basis. We have told the management to employ but they keep on telling us that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has refused to give him, (Chief Medical Director Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja Dr Olatunde Alabi) a waiver to employ.

” So we keep asking him, why has Mr President not given the CMD waiver to employ new resident doctors in the hospital? We asked them if they can’t employ, why can’t they reduce the workload, they said no. In this hospital, doctors are running 48 hours without a call meal. There is one devilish platform called Gifnis. The platform is so devilish that when doctors are put on that platform, they do not have access to their minimum wage and arrears.

” This platform is being used as an excuse to casualize doctors. You won’t imagine that at this age and time, there will be hospitals that will employ doctors as locums. Locums are derogatory statements. They should not be used for doctors.

” President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is trying to make the health sector to be the first in the whole world and some people are employing doctors under a gifnis platform which is devilish and they are calling them casuals. They keep recycling their monthly salary. It shouldn’t be.

” We want an end to the Gifnis platform for doctors in Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja. We also want an end to the point where people will say they don’t have a waiver to employ doctors. There should be speedy advertisements for doctors and all arrears of doctors in Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja should be paid. We are patriotic. Every worker deserves his reward and wages”.

The Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Kogi State Dr Baoku Olusola who joined the Resident Doctor’s protest said, ” it is a sad day for us here in Kogi State. You can see that I am wearing black as much as all the doctors that are here. The doctors are angry and sad and of course, in extension, the NMA is sad because of the event that is actually taking place in Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja.

“We have been communicated three times in the last three months concerning the burning issues in Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja. We have been hoping and praying the management of the hospital would have found a middle ground in resolving all this issue.

“Yesterday was labour day and the Senate Present Godswill Akpabio said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared that no workers must be made to work under harsh, severe situations. So, we are expecting that the leadership and the management of Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja will call these doctors who are patriotic enough to stay in this Country and do their work under very harsh conditions, meet with them, listen to them and be able to solve their problems.

“People can not be on duty for 48 hours and there will be no food to eat. What if they collapse? Somebody resuscitating another can collapse. So who will resuscitate who? They are completely overworked. These doctors are fighting for their living wages. I can’t imagine that with all the things Mr President has put in place about workers, there are some doctors who are not getting 35,000 wage awards, doctors are being casualized on a platform called GIFMIS and so many problems going on in this hospital.

“I am telling you, go and confirm, in FTHL, doctors are not getting their 35,000 wage award. There are piles of arrears for the past years that are not being paid to doctors. We are also aware that FTHL which has about 500 beds and runs on over 200 doctors now runs on 64 resident doctors. That is a collapse of a system”

He called on the Federal Government led by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to quickly intervene by addressing the demands of the resident doctors at the Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja.

“Things are going beyond what anybody could say. It will be peaceful anytime soon. Before these doctors will go and die one after the other or shut down the system, the federal government should quickly intervene and bring this problem to a reasonable end” he stated.

The Resident doctors vowed to continue their protest until their demands are met by the management of the hospital.





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