Death rate may rise, as nurses’ strike grounds LUTH
• Management pleads with workers to call off action
Many more patients have lost their lives, as a result of the five-week indefinite strike by nurses at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.
Nurses, under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) LUTH chapter, embarked on an industrial action, June 10, 2016, to protest, among other things, non-promotion of 71 nurses and non-payment of teaching allowance.
When The Guardian visited the hospital, yesterday, most of the wards were empty and locked up, with only few patients on admission. Many patients had also been discharged, so that they could seek care elsewhere.
A security man at the orthopedic and psychiatric sections revealed that no patient was currently in the wards, and that those who had been on admission were discharged that morning, as no nurse was on ground to attend to them. He said though doctors were still seeing patients at the various clinics, there was, however, no fresh admission.
The chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) at LUTH, Prof. Olufemi Fasanmade, told journalists, yesterday: “The nation has lost untold number of lives that could have been saved if our hospital had remained opened. Over 550 ill Nigerians were abandoned to their fate on hospital beds, with many seeking quick, unplanned discharge to private hospitals they could ill afford.” He urged the nurses to consider the plight of suffering Nigerians, end the strike, and join management in elevating the standards of the institution.
On what the management of LUTH has done to resolve the issues, Fasanmade said the unionists were encouraged to seek audience with the appropriate directorates of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), and were also enjoined to dialogue and lobby, to actualise their demands.
He said the Ministry has promised to come out soon with a holistic response to the matter and prayed the aggrieved nurses to, until then, sheathe their swords.
Fasanmade, a consultant endocrinologist, regretted that the hospital has lost millions in Internally Generated Revenue, adding: “With this present government’s firm stand on the strict implementation of the No-Work-No-Pay policy, many of us may lose much more to unearned pay, simply because we sympathise with a group of persons whose case is already receiving attention at the Ministry.”