Thursday, 29 December 2011

Patients desert LUTH as strike persists

The last appears not to have been heard about the on-going health workers’ strike which has shut down essential healthcare services at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH,Idi-Araba.

With no apparent end in sight, persons seeking treatment are being forced to look elsewhere other than the tertiary health institution even as in-patients have been compulsorily discharged from the wards as the striking medical and health workers vowed not to return to work.

Currently, only the set of quintuplets born a couple of weeks ago at the health institution are still on admission at the Intensive Care Unit, ICU.

This development emerged as a result of special arrangement by the hospital authorities to ensure  the babies, who were born with low birth weight, continue to receive the required care.

When Vanguard visited the hospital yesterday, it was a shadow of itself as only a handful of patients were seen scattered in some of the major wards as most of the others had been sent home.

Some of the patients encountered in the wards lamented their plight. Several of them who had run out of funds said they were stranded and could not go home or move to other hospitals. A few others who were lucky had their relations around to attend to their needs.

However, sources from the LUTH Joint House Unions and Associations told Vanguard that the strike would continue until their demands are addressed and satisfactorily met.

According to the source, the health workers are insisting that, among all the demands, the issue of downgrading and demotion must be reversed before they would return to work; immediate withdrawal of all the letters issued to members, and that the status quo to remain, which is skipping of CONHESS 10 in order to maintain industrial harmony.

Chief Medical Director of the health institution, Prof. Akin Osibogun had earlier appealed to the workers to call off the strike in the interest of the patients as negotiations continued.


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