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LAUTECH Doctors Dare Ajimobi, Soun of Ogbomoso Promises To Intervene!

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The Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi, Ajagungbade III has promised to intervene in the ongoing doctors’ crisis rocking the Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo state.

Resident doctors at the institution have equally insisted that the Governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi must do the needful to help the hospital survive and maintain its ‘essence’.

While addressing the protesting resident doctors who rounded off a protest march from the Teaching Hospital Complex at his Palace, the monarch commended the doctors for not being riotous and violent in making their demands known, noting that since the doctors have shown such maturity, he would ensure that the demands are looked into by the appropriate authorities

The monarch said: “I thank you very well. We will take care of all you have said. I commend and thank you very much for not being riotous or violent in pressing home your demands. Violence is not good. Whatever someone is looking for, he must look for it in peace and everything has solution.

“I cannot tell you as a human being that we will make you happy but I can assure you that you will be happy. God will make you happy through us. It will be possible. I am really happy that you registered your complaints peacefully, so I have listened to your demands and by the grace of God, God will take care of it. We have heard you, we listened to you and we will try our possible best”

Meanwhile, the Acting Chief Medical Director of the institution, Dr. Ademola Aremu has warned that if the trend of shortfall in salary is not promptly addressed, the institution might lose the essence of its establishment.

According to Dr. Aremu who is the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee but manning the institution pending the appointment of a substantive CMD, the teaching hospital has lost more than five key specialists in various medical fields who were significant to receiving accreditation in major courses in the health school.

He said: “The solution to the matter solely lies with the governor and his cabinet. My hope is that, with what we presented to him, the governor will look into it and maybe very soon, he will be able to help us save the institution.

“Save the institution in the sense that, in the last few weeks, we have actually lost some specialists, these are doctors that has been well trained and knowledgeable in their areas. These are the people that earned us accreditation that we have in several departments.

“But in the last few weeks, we have lost five of them across several departments. And if this half salary continues in the next two to three months, we will lose the essence of why we are here.”

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Some of the placards by the protesting doctors read: “Health service care must be: accessible, affordable financially and acceptable”, “Save Residency Training”, “IGR Drive Should not be at the expense of the citizen”, “Do not starve our specialist any longer. No to half salary”, “Do not take health beyond the reach of citizens”, “Oyo State Government should match our relentless commitment to the health of Oyo State Citizens with financial backings as well as goodwill” and “This is a work to save millions of lives in Oyo state”

According to the protesters, the institution is the only state owned medical institution being paid half salary. The government had since January 2016 been releasing fifty percent of the subvention to the school with a directive to the management to internally generate the remaining fifty percent to balance the payment of staffs’ salary

Addressing journalists, the Branch President, Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Sebastine Oiwoh said the five-year old institution was built on a tripod of training, verifiable research and delivery of qualitative, acceptable and accessible health care service but the hospital has had to grapple with “perennial issues of epileptic payment of salary, incomplete structures and lack of or failure to deliver the planned equipment.

“She has also suffered neglect of funding of residency training since inception”

While noting that the most recent matters bedeviling the hospital is the decision of the Oyo state government to pay 50% salary in January, February and March 2016 to only LAUTECH Teaching Hospital while other doctors and health workers in Oyo state got their full salaries, the President noted that the decision means the hospital that has over the years suffered inadequate financial backing has been forced to pay 50% of the salary from IGR

“The implication of this is inconsiderate hike in cost of health service delivery which will make healthcare unaffordable, not accessible and therefore unacceptable to the citizens

“We rise to say no to such decision that will ultimately spell worsened health indices. This also will mean the future of the medical students will be in jeopardy as well as it causing massive brain drain. We shall continue to raise this alarm until the health of our esteemed citizens is guaranteed and secured”, Dr. Oiwoh noted

He, however, called on traditional rulers, political leaders, policy makers and stakeholders to wade in before poverty is worsened leading to increased disease with attendant reduced productivity in the era of recession.

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