The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso has asked for Governor Seyi Makinde’s urgent intervention to halt the hospital’s decline.
The association, through its president Sope Orugun, and general secretary Nnara Stanley said Makinde urgently needs to address the challenges bedevilling the tertiary hospital.
In a statement, Messrs Orugun and Stanley listed some of the hospital’s challenges as a 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,” said the statement, noting that the shortage of hands and the japa syndrome plaguing the nation have caused poor remuneration and excessive workload, resulting in the loss of many categories of health workers.
The association pointed out that all federal and state government-owned tertiary hospitals in the South-West had begun paying into the Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) except Oyo and Ondo.
“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,” the resident doctors said.
They added, “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.”
The association stated that it was shocking that the Oyo government pays its health workers less than N5,000 monthly hazard allowance.
“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 residents lamented. “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.”
Makinde had, in August 2020, promised to pay the fund currently enjoyed by resident doctors in federal tertiary health institutions, said the statement but failed.
“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 society unattended to,” noted the doctors.
The ARD noted that it had in 2020 presented Mr Makinde with a plaque of honour for 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 association said.