Electricity disconnection: UCH warn doctors against boycotting night-duty

Ademola Adegbite

Hospital workers under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee have been warned by the management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State against shunning night duties, stressing that “whoever fails to report at his or her duty posts does that at his own or her own risk.”

PUNCH Healthwise had reported that the hospital workers including doctors, had on Tuesday, planned to suspend night duties after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company disconnected the power supply to the health facility over alleged N495m unpaid electricity bills.

According to the JAC Chairman, Oladayo Olabampe, the workers decided to scale down their activities until electricity was restored, saying they would now work only between 8 am and 4 pm.

They also threatened to go on a seven-day strike if the hospital was not reconnected before Tuesday, April 9

However, in separate interviews with our correspondent in Ibadan on Wednesday, the JAC Chairman and the hospital’s Public Relations Officer, ‘Funmi Adetuyibi, disagreed over the planned scaling-down of operations.

While the JAC Chairman said there was no going back on the 8 am – 4 pm work hours, the UCH spokesman insisted that the arrangement would not be tolerated.

He stated, “We have started since yesterday (Tuesday) and we are not going back. The workers took this decision due to a power outage in the hospital. So, with this development, no one would be available to attend to patients in the evening at UCH.

“We would have even started since but we were only considering the condition of the patients who might fall victim to this.

“Up till now, light has not been restored. So, we have scaled down our activities. We are to work between 8 am and 4 pm every day. We have said that if the light is not restored as of yesterday (Tuesday), we will scale down our activities and we have done that since yesterday. That is the latest. We are now in the third week.”

The PRO, Adetuyibi, however, said, “The hospital work is still running 24 hours. Those on the morning shift have done their work and left, the afternoon workers are currently on duty while those on night duty will soon come around to do their work. Those on call are also doing their work.

“The management has written a letter to the union that they don’t want anything like down-scaling of working hours. Everybody should face his or her work. Everybody should be at their duty posts.

“Doctors are attending to our patients from outside; they are also attending to those in various wards in the hospital. They are attending to them in the morning, afternoon, night and even in the midnight. So, nothing like down-scaling of working hours.

“The management has also told the heads of departments that whoever fails to report at his or her duty posts does that at his own or her own risk.”



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