Resident Doctors Demand Gov. Makinde’s Intervention in Struggling LAUTECH Hospital

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Resident Doctors Demand Gov. Makinde's Intervention in Struggling LAUTECH Hospital
Resident Doctors Seek Gov. Makinde’s Urgent Aid

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso has raised an alarm over the deteriorating state of the hospital, urging urgent intervention from Governor Seyi Makinde. Driven by the urgent need to address the challenges that continue to plague LAUTECH Teaching Hospital (LTH), the ARD, represented by its President, Dr. Sope Orugun, and General Secretary, Dr. Nnara Stanley, is calling on the state government to take immediate action.

According to reports from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the association has previously sought assistance from successive state governments in an attempt to tackle the hospital’s declining condition. Despite its potential to train healthcare workers of different cadres to meet the needs of the state’s citizens and beyond, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital currently finds itself grappling with a series of challenges.

In an official statement released by Dr. Orugun and Dr. Stanley, the ARD highlighted the hospital’s main issues, including a shortage of manpower, poor remuneration, brain drain, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of financial investment. They lamented that the hospital’s founding fathers had made significant investments in infrastructural development to realize their vision. However, subsequent governments have failed to sustain this momentum, leading to the hospital’s current plight.

One of the critical factors contributing to the crisis is the shortage of medical personnel, which has resulted in excessive workload and the loss of health workers due to poor remuneration. The “JAPA” (Just Another Packing Abroad) syndrome, an inclination for healthcare professionals to emigrate for better opportunities abroad, has further exacerbated the situation.

The ARD noted that all federal and state government-owned tertiary hospitals in South Western Nigeria have started implementing the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) to support update, revision courses, and examination expenses for resident doctors. Unfortunately, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital remains an exception in the region, as the Oyo and Ondo State Governments have not yet embraced the initiative.

The Association emphasized that the MRTF plays a pivotal role in retaining resident doctors, as it provides essential support for their professional development. Other states, including Benue, Osun, Ekiti, Kwara, and Nasarawa, have already made progress in implementing the fund. However, ARD LTH Ogbomoso has been advocating for Oyo state to adopt and domiciliate the MRTF since 2021 without success.

Furthermore, the ARD criticized the Oyo State Government for paying health workers less than 5,000 Naira monthly as hazard allowance, which they consider inadequate, given the prevailing economic hardship and inflation rate. They also pointed out that the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) in the state has not been reviewed as agreed upon, causing discontent among medical professionals.

Governor Seyi Makinde had previously promised to pay the MRTF to resident doctors in line with the federal tertiary health institutions. However, the failure to fulfill this pledge has forced many resident doctors to resort to borrowing money for professional updates and examinations.

Despite these challenges, the ARD expressed confidence in Governor Makinde’s ability to address the situation promptly and seriously. In the past, the Governor had received a plaque of honor from the ARD for his swift intervention in addressing the hospital’s previous issues.

In solidarity with the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the ARD LTH called for the replacement of resident doctors who exit or complete their training on a one-for-one basis to mitigate the impact of their departure.

Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH) holds a strategic position in the healthcare landscape of Oyo state, with the capacity to train over 170 resident doctors. However, the hospital currently has only 69 resident doctors, and several departments have lost their accreditations due to inadequate personnel and equipment, making it less attractive for training.

With the urgent call for Governor Seyi Makinde’s intervention, the future of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital remains uncertain until these pressing challenges are promptly addressed.

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