The Association of Resident Doctors at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTHC) Ile-Ife, Tuesday, has embarked on a two-day warning strike over an alleged assault involving a female doctor.
The union announced the strike in a circular obtained by PREMIUM TIMES and jointly signed by the association’s president, Nana Fayowole; General Secretary, Anuforo Anthony; and the Public Relations Officer, Adelaja Olasubomi.
“Members are to embark on a total 48-hour warning strike starting from 8 am on Tuesday, 21st June 2022 to 7.59 am on Thursday, 23rd June 2022,” the union stated.
The union also threatened to reexamine the situation should the hospital management fail to meet its demand.
According to the circular, on June 16, a female doctor identified as Oluwatosin Bello “was forcefully held hostage, confined, and verbally assaulted while discharging her duty, by a senior nurse in the Female Adult Orthopaedic Ward (FAOW)
“The female house officer had gone to the said ward with her team which comprised different cadres of doctors, to carry out a procedure on the only patient in the ward at that time.
“The team on arrival at 4:30 p.m. informed the nurse on duty.
“After obtaining the patient’s consent, they requested a trolley from the nurse who pointed the trolley to them and told them to get it.
“In order not to waste time because the team already got a call from children emergency to see a patient, the house officer willingly brought the trolley.
“After the procedure, the team discarded all sharps used. They wrapped the empty kit with the drape used and kept it on the lowest shelf of the trolley and wiped the topmost part of the trolley clean and moved the trolley away from the patient’s bedside.
“They were leaving the ward when the house officer was accosted that she should go and discard the waste. The house officer was the last to leave so the nurse went to block her way asking her to go and discard the waste and when she didn’t answer, the matron locked the gate with the padlock.
“As if that was not enough, she started shouting and rained a lot of insults on her to the extent that nurses from other wards came to plead with her to stop and open the gate but she declined.
“Despite several pleas, the nurse vowed never to let the doctor out no matter who comes from Abuja. We have the video evidence of this incident. It took the effort of many people to persuade the nurse to release the doctor.”
The union further described the incident as “an unfortunate and unacceptable occurrence”, adding that an emergency general meeting was called on June 17 and decided to embark on a 48-hour warning strike.
The union attributed workplace assault on doctors within the hospital to the lack of a proper job description for clinical staff. It, however, gave the hospital management four weeks to look into the incident and come up with a document to that effect.
“The hospital management should come up with a document detailing the job description of all clinical staff within the next four weeks, failure of which the house will re-examine the situation at the July 2022 OGM. We believe this is in line with best global practices.
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“The hospital management to institute a fact-finding committee to look into the incident at FAOW and appropriate disciplinary measures be meted against whoever is found culpable, failure of which the house will re-examine the situation at the July 2022 OGM,” they requested.
Confirming their demands to The Punch, the association’s president said: “We have given them (the management) ample time to do the needful. We stated our demands in our communique and they have constituted a fact-finding committee to look at what happened and make recommendations.
“They have between now and four weeks to tick all the boxes of our request before the next congress.”
Impact of the strike
Speaking on the strike, a consultant and an Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Ayodele Komolafe, told PREMIUM TIMES that the ongoing resident doctors’ strike will affect the operations of other staff under the Medical and Dental Consultant Association of Nigeria (MDCAN).
“The resident doctors constitute the bulk of the doctors working in the hospital, so even though consultants are not on strike, it will in a way affect our operation as medical consultants because we work together as a team,” he said.
“In a situation where three people are working to see a patient in the clinic and you are the only one there as the consultant, it will affect you in a way unless there are resident doctors available that you can work with.”
He also urged the hospital management to look into the incident and the demands of the resident doctors.
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