Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) resident doctors, on Monday began a three-day warning strike over unpaid arrears up to their May 2015 salaries.
Protesting within the hospital premises, Dr. Ramon Moroukola, President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), LUTH Chapter, told reporters that doctors were being owed 13 months arrears of skipping from Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) 10 to 13. He said the money was their entitlement that ought to be paid without further delays as other doctors have received theirs.
He said: “We don’t know why our case is different in LUTH. Other doctors in the employment of Federal Government have since been paid.
He added that the warning strike was declared to give room for peaceful resolution of the crisis, saying that failure to address the problems, “we will not hesitate to commence on an indefinite strike on 29 June.
Moroukola also informed that the government had released a circular in January 2014 for the money to be paid to the doctors but was surprised at LUTH’s refusal to heed the directives of the government.
He also said: “Some doctors in other government-owned institutions had received their skipping arrears in eight centres”; thereafter berating LUTH’s management for resorting to threat rather than dialoguing with the doctors.
He noted that such threats would only worsen the matter because doctors would remain resolute until their demands are met.
Also, Dr. Olubunmi Omojowolo, former president, ARD, LUTH, said the hospital has not prioritize doctors’ welfare, but rather, doctors have been attacked by armed robbers on a number of times with their valuables stolen.
He said the acting Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Christopher Bode and the Committee of CMDs are deliberately withholding the arrears of doctors.
Omojowolo said: “They have formed a parallel body to that of the government and that is why they can go against the government and withhold doctors pay. There was money to pay doctors’ arrears as it had been captured in the 2015 budget. So, the CMMD should answer us to prevent plunging the hospital into another crisis.
In the meantime, he said that skeletal services are being offered to cushion the effect on patients because they are vital to the ARDs.