University College Hospital, Ibadan rejects patients as strikes persist

It was reported that the University College Hospital, Ibadan, has stopped admitting new patients as the effect of strikes embarked upon by the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals nationwide and the hospital’s resident doctors take its toll on the hospital.

NUAHP began its strike on Monday after the seven-day ultimatum it issued on the Federal Government expired, while the resident doctors have been on strike for three weeks.

When our correspondent visited the hospital on Tuesday, he observed that pharmacists, physiotherapists, medical laboratory scientists, radiographers, dieticians, dental technologists, optometrists, clinical psychologists, medical social workers and all other health professionals except doctors and nurses were not attending to patients.

Efforts to reach the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Temitope Alonge, failed as he was said to be in a meeting; but a hospital source, who preferred anonymity because she is not authorised to speak for the hospital, said that Internally Generated Revenue of the health facility had dropped considerably.

“With the two strikes coming at the same time, we cannot admit patients and what this means is that the hospital’s IGR has dropped. Clinical services have been shut down and medical students’ training cannot go on. Research work has also suffered. There is no consultant that can work effectively because what we now have are nurses and administrative workers,” she said.

The Chairman of UCH branch of NUAHP, Olusegun Sotiloye, told our correspondent on Tuesday that before taking the decision, several attempts to discuss the situation with the Minister of Health failed.

Sotiloye said, “We gave the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum from May 11, 2015. It expired last Sunday, which necessitated the nationwide strike embarked upon by the union on Monday. What we decided is that we will observe sit-down approach in the first week. Our members will be coming to work but they will not render any service except when there is an emergency. If we did not get the Federal Government’s attention, we will begin full-scale strike in the second week.

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