OAUTH resident doctors protest non-payment of entitlements

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals (OAUTH), Ile-Ife, Osun State, staged a peaceful protest on Monday to demand their outstanding entitlements from the federal government.

They also threatened to embark on an industrial action in the next four weeks if their requests are not met.

The protesters, who gathered at the hospital premises, expressed unwavering determination in demanding what is rightfully theirs. They also lamented the poor conditions of service at the healthcare center.

Armed with placards bearing various inscriptions such as “The laborer is worthy of his wages,” “No food: a hungry doctor is a danger,” and “Renovate call rooms now,” among others, they criticized the authorities’ treatment of their plight as inhumane and callous. They called on the hospital management to address their grievances.

Addressing the protesters, the association’s president, Dr. Ibukunoluwa Enesi, stated, “We are giving the hospital management a four-week ultimatum to address these issues. Failure to do so may result in industrial disharmony between our members and the hospital management.”

It is unfortunate that despite the shortage of doctors in the hospital, approximately 42 doctors are owed 14 months’ salary arrears, with about 45 doctors awaiting their March 2024 salary payments.”

“While we have engaged in both formal and informal meetings with the management, our members have only received 3 months’ salary arrears out of the remaining 17 months owed, as of today, July 1st, 2024.”

“We want to express our displeasure at the management’s approach towards the payment of accoutrement allowances that have been disbursed in some centers across the country.”

“We were dismayed by the swift implementation of the OAUTHC management’s draconian policy of ‘no work, no pay’ for our five-day protest demanding payment of the 14 months’ arrears.”

In response, the association’s Public Relations Officer, Dr. Rasheed Abiola, called on President Bola Tinubu, religious and traditional leaders, and well-meaning Nigerians to intervene with the federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and OAUTHC management to prevent disruption of services at the hospital.

Reacting further, the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee at OAUTH, Josephine Ezeyi, urged the resident doctors to exercise patience with the hospital management, emphasizing that they are taking decisive steps to ensure their demands are addressed.

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