Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso says Gov. Seyi Makinde’s urgent intervention is needed to halt the hospital’s declining state.
The association, through its President, Dr Sope Orugun, and General Secretary, Dr Nnara Stanley, said Gov. Makinde urgently needs to address the challenges bedeviling LAUTECH Teaching Hospital (LTH).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association had on many occasions earlier sought the intervention of successive governments in the state over the hospital’s declining condition.
The hospital has the capacity to train health workers of different cadres to meet the demands of the citizens of the state and beyond if properly administered.
The ARD LTH, in a statement by Orugun and Stanley, listed some of the hospital’s challenges as shortage of manpower, poor remuneration, brain drain, poor infrastructure and poor financial investment.
“This hospital’s founding fathers had committed huge funds to infrastructural development towards achieving their vision.
“But, sadly, successive governments have abandoned the investment with little or no financial commitment to the improvement of the hospital’s fortune,” it said.
The ARD said many categories of health workers had been lost to poor remuneration and excessive workload caused by the shortage of hands and the “JAPA” syndrome plaguing the nation.
It pointed out that all federal and state government-owned tertiary hospitals in South Western Nigeria have started the payment of Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF).
The doctors however said the only exception in their geo-political zone were those owned by Oyo and Ondo State Governments.
“The MRTF is meant to cater for update, revision courses and examination expenditures, and stands out as a major ‘push factor’ for resident doctors from the centre.
“Most recently, Benue, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara and Nasarawa states have either given approval for payment or effected the same. Sadly, most of these states started negotiations regarding the MRTF long after Oyo state.
“MRTF is similar to the fund paid to other workers to cater for their on-the-job training.
“Oyo state which ought to set the pace has however lagged far behind in the adoption and domiciliation of the MRTF in spite of all efforts from ARD LTH Ogbomoso since 2021,” they said.
The association stated that it would shock many to know that Oyo State Government still pays its health workers less than 5,000 Naira monthly as hazard allowance.
It added that the amount was ridiculous in view of the current economic hardship in the country and the geometric rise in inflation rate and prices of commodities.
“In addition to this, the CONMESS being paid now in the state was last reviewed in 2009, which contravened the agreement of a review every five years.
“This salary structure is already due for a second review. The state government needs to understand the seriousness with which the ‘push-factors’ for brain drain need to be addressed if the tide must be turned.”
The association recalled that Gov. Makinde had in August 2020 promised to pay the fund currently enjoyed by resident doctors in federal tertiary health institutions.
“Owing to this failed promise, our members have frequently resorted to borrowing money in order to go for these updates and examinations, while not leaving their other responsibilities to families and the society unattended to,” it said.
The ARD noted that it had in 2020 presented Gov. Makinde with a plaque of honour owing to his prompt intervention in the rot he met in the hospital when he assumed office.
“Now, we still have a similar trust in his capability to address the matters raised with the seriousness and promptness they deserve.”
The ARD LTH went on to declare its support for the demand by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on the replacement of resident doctors who exit or complete their training.
NAN reports that NARD has advocated that such doctors should be replaced on a one-for-one basis to mitigate the effect of such departure.
“We support the demand of NARD, and we call for the implementation of the demand at LTH and nationwide,” the association stated.
NAN reports that LTH, which occupies a strategic position in the healthcare space of Oyo state, has the capacity to train well over 170 resident doctors.
This is by virtue of the number of specialists running residency training. But, like a deprived giant, it currently has 69 resident doctors.
Most departments have now lost their accreditations due to unavailability of adequate personnel and equipment, among other pressing issues, making the hospital less attractive for training.