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Doctors embark on warning strike

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Resident doctors at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, on Monday embarked on a three-day warning strike, following the failure of the state government to recruit more house officers and resident doctors.

The President, Association of Resident Doctors, LASUTH, Dr Balogun Fatai told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the strike was total, involving both emergency and clinical operations in the hospital.

He said that in spite of the agitations of the association and its meetings with the government and management officials, there were no signs that new resident doctors would be engaged in the hospital.

“Although, some house officers are reporting for work, yet they are not enough to call off the strike because the resident doctors that form the hub of the workforce of the hospital have yet to resume duty.

“We are made to know that the governor has not yet given the approval as expected; that is what is stalling the recruitment of new doctors in the hospital.

“That is why we are embarking on a three-day warning strike, which is total; no member of the association will attend to patients during the strike,’’ he said.

Balogun, however, noted that consultants were on ground to see their patients, adding that the specialists would do their best to deliver health care to the patients.

He, nonetheless, stressed that the consultants would still need the services of the resident doctors because resident doctors interacted with patients directly as the patients’ first point of call.

“If these residents are not on ground, it is obvious that work cannot go on smoothly at the teaching hospital.

“We are expecting 172 doctors, at the minimum, to start work; that will cushion the effect of what is going on now at the hospital.

“Essentially, the strike is to pass the message across to the government, so that it feels our pains and gives the needed approval as soon as possible,’’ he said.

Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, told NAN that he had done everything that needed to be done to deploy the available resident doctors.

“I am not the one in charge of employing doctors, but have done everything I needed to do to deploy them, “ he said.

A visit to the hospital by NAN conformed that the resident doctors were not at their duty posts to attend to patients.

Only nurses and other health professionals, including pharmacists, laboratory scientists, as well as some house officers were seen at their duty posts.

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